What are these hoofprints?
June 14, 2007 7:03 AM   Subscribe

What are these hoofprints in Turkmenistan?

Found via Pruned.
posted by fish tick to Science & Nature (7 answers total)
What a fascinating corner of the world. Krasnovodsk is "Central Asia's only port" according to Wikipedia, and was renamed Türkmenbaşy by the country's leader in 1999. It's the site of some of the country's largest petroleum reserves, too, and the western terminus of the Trans-Caspian railroad (which does not span the Caspian!).

Because they look so standardized and huge, I'd guess they're either some sort of petroleum or gas thing, though I don't see power lines or anything leading up to them, or a military bunker or storage facility, sort of like what seems to be going on on the northwest end of the airport on the satellite map. Honestly, the first thing I thought of was something like this.

There's a great article on Turkmenistan in a recent issue of the New Yorker, too.
posted by mdonley at 7:36 AM on June 14, 2007

They look similar to bunkers for storage of explosives.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 7:37 AM on June 14, 2007

They're probably related to the SAM sites nearby. What SAM sites? These SAM sites (viewable in Google Earth).
posted by Oddly at 7:43 AM on June 14, 2007

They look like aircraft revetments to me, perhaps for parking for the airfield just to the west. The idea is that you can pull an airplane into the curved part, and it will be protected from bomb misses by the curve and by the wall in front. Some fancier ones can be seen here.
posted by procrastination at 8:13 AM on June 14, 2007

I was thinking they might be fortifications for defending the road. If you've got artillery in those curves, they can attack the road and be protected from friendly fire from behind, by the straight wall.

Problem is, they're not all facing the same way.
posted by lostburner at 9:20 AM on June 14, 2007

or, even more likely, what procrastination said.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 9:37 AM on June 14, 2007

They look like bunkers, but they also look to be too small for most aircraft (compare to aircraft at the airfield and you would be hard-pressed fitting in one of those small GA aircraft), there is no paved taxiway leading to them, and they're a really long way away from the airport. There are also hardened shelters for aircraft much closer to the runway.
posted by cardboard at 1:28 PM on June 14, 2007

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