The Valley of White Stones
At the southern tip of the Kamchatka Peninsula lies one of the most fascinating geological formations in all of Russia. It is called the Valley of White Stones that was formed thousands of years ago after a massive volcanic explosion rocked the entire area.
This amazing formation is part of the Kurlie lake caldera which was formed by two enormous volcanic explosions, the first being almost 4200 years ago and the second one around 6440 B.C.
The second explosion ejected vast amounts of pumice a 100 meters deep in some areas that coated the landscape. The extent of the fallout was felt as much as a 1000 kilometers aways on the Asian mainland.
This explosion was given a VEI rating of 7, the second highest ranking on the Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program’s Volcanic Explosivity Index, making it comparable to some of the largest eruptions in recorded history such as Santorini, Changbaishan, Crater Lake, Kikaiand Tambora.
Subsequent erosion carved a spectacular valley scattered with obelisks that appear to resemble gigantic canoes standing upwards, which is where the name Kuthiny Baty comes from, as it means “standing boat” in Russian.
The Legend behind Kuthiny Bata
The name Kuthiny Bata came about because of the legend of Kutkh who is considered one of the main characters of Kamchatka. Kutkh usually appeared before the indigenous people in guise of a crow. According to these ancient beliefs, it’s believed that he was involved in the formation of Kamchatka land and all its’ Peoples.
In one of these legends Kutkh is a master fisherman. The legend speaks that he often enjoyed fishing in the waters of Kurile Lake, his favorite time was during the spawning season when huge amounts of salmon would arrive at the lake. He would use a wooden fishing canoe, after each season of fishing, afterwards he’d pull his boat on to dry land.
Since Kutkh was constantly busy engaged in the creation of the world a large amount of time would pass before he could fish again. Thus each time he came he took a new boat and after fishing he pulled it out to dry. It was the passage of this time that caused the canoes to turn to stone.
The following video is one of the legends of Kutkh.