Wonders and marvels. The Well of the Wind: the Well of Worms. Inter- mittent springs. Moving hillocks. Mount Damāvand pit. Tree at Busṭām. Spring-water against Locusts. Pit of the Pigeons. Other intermittent springs. Hermaphrodites; and other monstrosities. Fidelity of a dog. Poisonous vapours. Intermittent springs and dropping wells. Armless men. Medi- cinal springs. Twins coupled together. The mill of Jonah. Hot and cold springs. Other pigeon pits. Febrifuge water. Miraculous rain-stone of Ardabīl. Poisonous tree and grass. The Bākū fires.

CONCLUSION. Describing the wonders of the land and sea throughout the habitable world. Now it will be found that some of the following accounts are of a nature that the mind cannot compass, but in view of the omnipotence of God most high, and there being (as it is said) no limit to His power, therefore to these things a full credence should be vouchsafed: and we have divided the same into two parts, namely a valedictory part, and frag- mentary notes.

Valedictory: giving a description of the wonders met with in the land of Īrān, and we shall describe each according to its province.

In Khurāsān, Qūmis, Māzandarān and Quhistān. Qazvīnī reports that 5 leagues distant from Dāmghān there is a well that is named Bād-Khānī (House of Wind), and if any filthy matter be thrown into it, the wind blows and cold and rain forthwith come, but as soon as they cease throwing such things into it, the weather clears; and according as the filth thrown in be more or less, the wind is higher and the cold [<Arabic>] is the more intense. This condition of things too is well known throughout all the country round. It is also said that between Ghaznayn and Jaypāl there is another well, where the same effects are to be noticed. Qazvīnī again reports that at the village of Siyāh Sang (Black Stone) in the Rūghad district of Māzandarān, there are found worms at the bottom of a certain spring; and those who fetch water should they trample under foot any part of one of these worms, the water that he has got in his bucket will turn fetid, as too the water got by all who come after him, but those who came before him their water remains sweet. Further it is reported that when in Māzandarān they have cut down and burnt a forest in order to get the land as fields for cultivation, then during the first year this land that has been burnt out, without being sown, will produce a crop of sweet water-melons.

It is reported that in the year 528 (1134) a woman in the province of Balkh gave birth to a child that was formed like half a human being, or rather from head to foot the child was in two halves. In another year a child was born with a body having two heads, four hands, and two feet. To the south-west of Dāmghān and 3 leagues distant, is a hot spring, and anyone who having the scab sits for a time therein gets rid of his ail- ment: further he who is afflicted with the colic may also obtain relief here. Qazvīnī again reports that at the village of Īlābistān, lying between Isfarāyin and Jurjān, there is a cave from which water flows forth; then little by little and for no known reason it ceases to flow, and will remain thus cut off until the people of the country round, men and women, in their best clothes all assemble here, bringing instruments of music which they play in front of the entrance to the cavern, with dancing and singing. Then that same day the water begins to flow again. Qazvīnī and Yāqūt both describe a certain spring at Bāmiyān, and how- ever much you may throw filthy matter into this it will always be thrown out again on to the ground round about it. Further, if any one should wish to throw a stone into the middle of this spring, if he stand on the brink his foot will slip and he will fall in [<Arabic>] and sink to the bottom.

In the neighbourhood of Herāt there are two hillocks, one beside the other; and one is called Īrān while the other is called Tūrān. If in any year an army is about to march from Tūrān (the Turks) against Īrān (the Persians), then a stone from the Tūrān hillock begins to slip and rolls down: and when it comes to strike against the Īrān hillock, it makes such a noise that all the inhabitants of those parts hear it. The celebrated Khwājah `Imād-ad-Dīn of Khwāf narrates that, in a mountain near Herāt, is a pit from whence a strong wind ever blows; and it is so strong that if several Mann-weight of stones be thrown into the pit, these by the force of the wind are hurled back again. Hence it is that no one has ever come to the bottom of this pit. Qazvīnī states that on Mount Damāvand is a very deep pit: so deep that no one knows its depths: and by day a vapour rises therefrom, while by night fire is seen. If anything be thrown into it, the force of the vapour is such as to throw it forth again. The same author describes a spring called Farāvaz, and washing in its waters causes a quartan fever to abate. Then there is that spring called Arvand in Sīstān, where numerous reeds grow; and those portions of them which stand in the water are petrified, while the parts that rise above the water level are like any other reed.

At Busṭām is the shrine of the Shaykh of Shaykhs Abū `Abd- Allāh Dāstānī and on his tomb stands a withered tree. Now when any one of the descendants of the Shaykh comes to be on the point of death, a branch of this tree breaks off. In certain documents it is stated that this tree was originally the Staff of our Prophet—upon whom be peace,—and generation after generation it was inherited by his descendants, till it came to the Imām Ja`far-aṣ-Ṣādiq. The Imām Ja`far gave it to Bāyazīd of Busṭām*, and Bāyazīd stated in his testament that 200 years after his day a certain Darvīsh would come out of Dāstān, and then this Staff should be given to him. Therefore when the Shaykh of Shaykhs Dāstānī made his appearance this Staff became his, and after his death, by the provisions of his will, it was planted in the earth of his grave, above his breast. The same forthwith became a tree, and put forth branches. During the incursion of the Ghuzz one of its branches was cut off, and the tree withered; but of those who had thus cut off its branch most of them perished that same day; [<Arabic>] and from that time onwards the tree has always had the terrible property aforesaid inherent in it (killing all who cut it).

In Persian `Iraq, Kurdistān, Luristān and Jīlān. Qazvīnī reports that there is a well in the neighbourhood of Nihāvand, in the Hamadān province, which has the same peculiarity in the matter of the worms found in its waters as has been described above concerning the well of Siyāh Sang in Rūghad. At Su- mayram in Luristān there is a spring, and should locusts appear in any neighbouring land they send two men, who must neither of them have drunk wine or committed fornication, to fetch water from this spring and carry it to the land to which the locusts have come; and this water must never be set down on the way. Thereupon birds that are like starlings appear and follow that water, and they soon make an end of the locusts. This matter is famous throughout all that land, for it is related that King Solomon made a pact with the locusts that they should do no more damage, and he took this spring to be a witness in the same, also he com- manded the starlings that if ever again the locusts did damage, it would be the part of the starlings to make an end of them. Hence it is that the spring has this property. In the Ṭālish districts there is a spring, whose water, when it has run a certain distance, petrifies, and in winter time it does no harm to drink of this. At the village of `Abd Allah Ābād, in the Kharraqān dis- trict of Hamadān, there is a spring the waters of which are thrown up to the height of a fathom, and any thing that is thrown into it is tossed back again. In the neighbourhood of Janbadhaq there is a pit in which live many pigeons. No one has found the bottom of the pit, though they have gone down into it for more than 500 ells, for by reason of the excessive cold they have been unable to go further. The common folk say that king Kay Khusraw hid his World-Displaying Cup in this pit.

Qazvīnī states that in the mountain of Nihāvand of the Hamadān province there is a cleft; and whenever the people of those parts lack water for their fields or mill streams they have but to go to that cleft and make their demand for water with a loud shouting, and thereupon water flows forth from the cleft. Then when what is needed for their wants has come forth, they go back and call that there has been [<Arabic>] water enough, where- upon the water ceases to flow. Further the same authority states that a similar source exists in the Ray district and in Rustamdār. In Qazvīn is the spring called Ardbīhishtak. People go to this in the melon season, and drink of its water as it flows, which acts as a purge. But if the water be carried away to some other place, it no longer possesses purgative properties. In the Ṣuwar- al-Aqālīm it is reported that in the Qazvīn district at the village of Nāshqīn clothes and other stuffs take no colour (when dyed), while in the village of Arasht iron exposed does not take rust, and in the village of Kanjiyān no dew falls; all which peculiar- ities may be noticed within the space of a league.

At a village in the Qūlanjān district, near Qūmishah, during the reign of Uljaytū Sulṭān a girl noticed a swelling beginning to form on her belly, and after some days she had pains in her lower parts. Then an opening came and the male organs ap- peared, and the girl became a man. In the Jāmi`-al-Ḥikāyat further it is related that in Baghdād a man of the name of Muḥammad had a daughter, and on her marriage night when her husband entered in unto her, by the force of his act there appeared in her a man’s members, and lo! she had become a boy. Then he (who had been a girl) took a wife, and children were born to him. In the district of Qazvīn at the village of Bayqān there is a morass, that is some thousand ells round, where reeds grow. Often the roots of the reeds will cleave together, and with the soil round them will get detached from the bottom of the morass, and float about like a boat on the surface of the water, whereby boys who get upon them may make their sport therein. Thus every year some five or six thousand dīnārs accrue to the owner of this village from the crop of reeds here. In mount Alvand near Hamadān there were many great snakes which did hurt to the people round and about, so in times gone by they made a deep wide pit in which, by a talisman, they imprisoned the snakes. To this day it is full of snakes, and every other snake that comes into those parts perforce goes and throws himself into this pit, and cannot get out of it again. In the Zubdah-at-Tawārīkh it is related that at Mān-Rūd in Little Lur there is a kind of snake that has a second head also on his tail, and near each head are seen two arms. In the very year (when this book was written) in the district of Qazvīn a woman gave birth to a daughter, the lower half of whose body was like that of any other girl-child, but above and from her navel upwards there were two bodies, having four arms and two heads. Now both these bodies were endowed with motion, and the upper portion of one body lived for about a month after the other part had died, and these children survived in all for some five or six months. The author of the History of Maghrib relates that in the year 522 (1128) he came to Abhar, and the Qāḍī Abū-l-Bashar al-Asadī told him that at the hill of Rustam Kūh, near Abhar, there was a wonderful cave. For in this cave there was a hole in the roof, from which bundles of slender twigs appeared bound together with rope; if now a bundle were seized and taken away, another immediately made its appearance, but otherwise it would remain and keep its place.

In this very year (as we write), in the market of Qazvīn, a man who was a stranger died in the night. He had a dog, and this [<Arabic>] dog threw himself on the ground beside his master’s body; but when it was taken away to the burial ground and committed to the grave, the dog followed after. Then the dog went back to the place where his master had died, and there began to beat himself against the ground so that he killed himself. Of these facts all the people of the market were witness, and one and all attest the fidelity shown by that dog. There is in the Rūdbār mountain some three leagues distant from Qazvīn a spring that is called Ankūl. During the last days of summer the water here is still frozen to ice, and as the weather becomes cooler the ice becomes less thick. When ice fails in the city of Qazvīn they bring it down from here. During the reign of Sulṭān Abū Sa`īd I saw a man in Sulṭāniyyah who had a short beard, but all the upper part of his body was covered with long hair like a bear. Except for the beard there was no other hair on the face. His speech was quite understandable, and he was wont to beg alms.

In Fārs, Kirmān and Shabānkārah.

Qazvīnī reports that at Hindiyān in Fārs there is a pit lying in a valley between two hills, and from it a vapour arises of so poisonous a nature that any bird who passes over the mouth of this pit falls dead from these emanations. The same author further says that in Shabānkārah there is a spring called Rūd-Khārah from which sufficient water to turn two or three mills pours forth. This flows during thirty years; then for thirty years it ceases to flow; and no water comes forth [<Arabic>] until another thirty years be past, when it again begins to flow; and so it goes on unceasingly. In the same work it is stated that at the village of `Abd-ar-Raḥ- mān there is a well some two fathoms in depth, and whenever water is needed, whether it be for field-irrigation, or to turn their mills, the people will go thither and cry out for water. Then as much water as is needful for their purposes comes forth, but as soon as their necessities have been served, the well goes dry again. Then there is the Ṣāhik well at Arrajān in Fārs, the bottom of which can never be reached; and so much water as is necessary for the needs of the people this well likewise gives forth.

In the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm it is stated that in Ardashīr Khūrah there is a well of which, if anyone drink, he will be purged; and if any be libidinous, the drinking of that water will have on him an excellent effect. In the same work it is reported that at the village called Dīh Murjān there is a cave from the roof of which water drips down. If a single person should enter, the water is only just sufficient for his need, but if more enter, howsoever many they be, still the water will always suffice for them all. It is said this is from a talisman. In the same work it is said that in Dasht Bārīn, at a mountain, there is a source called the Spring of Nūḥ (Noah). Its water is an excellent prophylactic against disease, and for dissipating all humours; so that they carry much of this water into all the countries round.

In Arabian `Irāq and Khūzistān.

Qazvīnī states that between Ahwāz and Baṣrah there is a river, and at certain times a building like a tower appears in the river and the sound as of trumpets and drums is given forth from this tower. In the same work, and on the authority of Sinān ibn Thābit-al-Harrānī, it is reported that he saw a woman who had no arms at all, and whatever work is ordinarily done by the hands, she did with her feet. I too myself saw a man at Ḥillah who worked as a tailor with his feet, and in the time of Ghāzān Khān there was a man like this who lived at Tabrīz, and he was wont to dance on a tightrope in the New Maydān in that city. At Baghdād, on the Tigris bank below the Dār-ash-Shāṭi’iyyah*, there is a piece of ground some hundred ells in length, where clothes that are washed immediately become perfectly clean, while [<Arabic>] at all other places on the Tigris bank such perfect cleansing as is here found cannot be effected.

In Diyār Bakr and Armenia.

Qazvīnī relates that in Armenia there is a spring called Zarā- vand, and if anyone suffering from boils or ulcers bathes in its waters these disappear from his body. Also if he drink of this water any evil humours that may be in his body are expelled. People from all the country round come to this place, and many regain their health. The same author reports that in Armenia in the meadow called Yāsī Chaman, there is a spring where the water gushes forth with such violence that the sound made by it can be heard at a great distance away: any animal that falls into it forthwith perishes; and its waters when drunk are violently purgative. According to the Jāmi`-al-Ḥikāyat the author of the Daylamite History reports that some gifts were brought for presentation to Nāṣir-ad-Dawlah from Armenia, and with these were two men who were joined together back to back. They were some 25 years of age, and in matters of eating and drinking, sleeping and waking, each might do differently from the other. The story of Hāshim and `Abd-ash-Shams, the two sons of `Abd- Manāf the grandfather of the Prophet, may be cited in confirma- tion of the above, for they too were born coupled together after this fashion, and their father cut them apart with a sword. The same authority states that in the city of Nashawā (Nakhchivān) there is a mill which the water continuously turns, and there is never any need to stop it for repairs. Whenever a charge has to be put into the mill, or the same removed, he who does this has but to say: ‘By the truth of Jonah the prophet: Stop!’ and it will immediately cease to turn, and the water runs off till the charging is effected. Then that person says,—‘By the truth of Jonah: Back to thy former state!’ and forthwith the mill resumes its work.

In Rūm (Asia Minor) and Gurjistān (Georgia).

Qazvīnī reports that at Malaṭīyah in Rūm there is a spring the waters of which after they have flowed some distance petrify, and in winter no harm results from drinking the water. The same author also states that between Āq Shahr and Antākīyah (Antioch of Pisidia) there is a spring which [<Arabic>] no sooner does it run dry than the neighbouring city forthwith catches fire. Sulṭān `Alā- ad-Dīn Kay Khusraw the Saljūq made trial of this, and found that it was so.

In Ādharbāyjān, Mūghān, Arrān and Shīrvān.

Qazvīnī relates that at the village of Shīrgīrān near Marāghah there are two springs lying side by side, one pouring forth very hot water, the other water that is extremely cold; and hence it is impossible to keep the hands in both springs at once. The same author states that in this province also there is a spring called Washalah, and whosoever drinks of its waters vomits up all victuals that he may have in his belly. The same author further states* that in the plain of the villages of Janbadhaq near Marāghah there is a pit where numerous pigeons are found, and they spread a net over the mouth of the pit and thus catch the pigeons. The pit is more than 500 ells in depth, and one may go down into it and come to the light again. In this same district there are wells where no water is reached before a depth of 50 ells. In Alexandria also there is a pit where they catch many pigeons after the like fashion. Qazvīnī also reports that near Khoi there is a spring named Qūṭūr, the water of which when mixed with honey is taken against fevers. The remarkable thing is that honey usually brings on fever, but mixed with this water it serves to cure it. In the same work it is said that in another part of this province is a spring, the water of which coming forth immediately petrifies, and this to such a degree that if it be allowed to flow into a brick-mould, stone bricks are formed by it. The author of the History of Maghrib states that in the year 522 (1128) he came to Ardabīl and saw there a stone of the weight of 200 Manns, exactly like an iron ball. The Qāḍī Bahā-ad-Dīn Sa`īd of Ardabīl told him, that when the town folk wanted rain, they brought this ball into the city of Ardabīl, whereupon rain fell: but no sooner was it carried forth again from the town, than the rain would cease. The writer of this present work may add, however, that many times he also has seen this stone at Ardabīl lying before the door of the Mosque, but that on these occasions no rain ever fell. Further, it is the firm belief of the people of Ardabīl that this stone, without being touched by mortal hand, moves from one door to another door of the Mosque. [<Arabic>] I myself, however, always found it in one con- dition and in one place. Further, although its appearance is that of a stone, it undoubtedly is of iron, for it has been molten and worked in the furnace by heat, as is shown by the slag upon it. Further the surface is not intractable to the graving-tool, for there has been some writing engraved on it, and had it been a stone the engraving of it after this wise had not been possible*.

At the foot of mount Sablān is found a tree round and about which much grass grows; but no beast or bird dare either taste of the fruit of the tree, or touch the grass: for to eat of either is to die; hence it is believed that for sure this is the dwelling place of demons. In the province of Bākūyah (Bākū), according to the same authority the ground is hot with fire: so much so that both bread and meat can be cooked by being laid on the same. This fire is not extinguished by rain, but rather burns fiercer. I myself have seen this; and a further wonder is this, that in those parts lies a meadow in which if anyone should dig a little ditch, fire will burst forth in a flame through the cutting. The same authority states, that over against this district there is a moun- tain in which is a fissure, from which a stream flows forth. In this stream pieces of copper are found of the weight of one or two scruples; and these are exported to foreign countries. In the early part of the reign of Abū Sa`īd I saw in the province of Arrān a calf which had four eyes, two like those of a man, and two like those of a cow. In the plain round the village called Dīh-Bār of the district of Tabrīz is a spring, and any one drink- ing of its waters finds himself well purged: hence the people there at their need often come and drink therefrom.