STORIES FROM A HEATED EARTH, OUR GEOTHERMAL LIVES
And they are everyones stories, for around the world we all are affected by geothermal heat. Phenomena of heatvolcanoes, hot springs, fumaroles, geysers, hot and steaming groundand products of heathydrothermally derived minerals and rocks such as sulfates, borates, silicate, kaolins and travertineare ours to enjoy. Heat-driven destructive forcessuch as earthquakes, volcanic explosions, crater collapses, lava flows, and ash cloudsare ours to endure. From the start, heat has offered mankind joy and fear, aid and destruction, history and tales, fact and legend. It has molded old customs and helped to forge new experiences through millennia.
Traces of these beliefs remain in stories, art, and architecture, and from them we learn our geothermal history. For example, Prehistoric peoples often held geothermal phenomena in awe. They thought of the Earth as sacred, and terrestrial heat as a gift from the gods to humankind. Hot springs and fumaroles were described as Wakan Tanaka (Great Mystery) by the American Dakota Sioux and as Tapu (sacred) by the Maori. These beliefsexpressed in popular customs, traditions, religious feelings, and ritualspassed through hundreds of generations and still influence people today.
Does soaking in thermal waters cure illnesses? Stories from time immemorial show that people worldwide have thought so.
Geothermal resources have provided raw materials for items both practical and artistic. Obsidian tools and arrow points, once widely chipped for hunting, are still fashioned with ancient techniques in a few remote areas. Buildings and statues formed of hydrothermal minerals endure in beauty.
The stories tell it all, the history of geothermal heat and of our heated earth.