Azerbaijan: Luxury spa lets its customers take a bath in crude oil

Oil is one of the most important and precious natural resources on the planet, but would you ever take a bath in it?

In the energy-rich nation of Azerbaijan, you now can. Situated in the capital Baku, the Naftalan Health Centre offers its customers a chance to dip in the black gold.

Seb, an Australian tourist to the region who was visiting the facility, described the experience:

"It's pretty OK, it's about the same temperature as a normal bath, it's a bit like chocolate I suppose in texture, reminds me of those chocolate fountains at the malls. Pretty warm, pretty painless, does not really smell much," he said.

Bathing in Naftalan oil for medicinal purposes is a practice that stretches as far back as the 6th century. But there has been criticism as well that the oil contains naphthalene hydrocarbons, a possible carcinogen. The spa's doctor Hashim Hashimov said that the treatment could cure up to 70 ailments.

"Naftalan kills everything, viruses, bacteria and fungi. It's consistence is unique and pure, it does not contain any dirt," he said.

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