A few years ago, Koytendag became the venue for the country’s first comprehensive international scientific expedition “Nature of Turkmenistan: the undiscovered wonders of Koytendag”, the purpose of which is to establish cooperation between foreign and Turkmen scientists, joint study of natural landscapes, the diversity of flora and fauna of Turkmenistan, natural and ethnographic attractions.
The expedition brought together over fifty participants – leading scientists from eight countries – the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Finland, Russia and Turkmenistan. Among the participants were paleontologists, speleologists, botanists, zoologists, environmentalists specializing in the preservation of natural attractions, as well as representatives of UNESCO.
No matter how large-scale such an expedition, far from all the natural monuments of Kugitang fell into the field of view of the authoritative landing of scientists and specialists. An example of this is the unique freshwater lake, which is located in a karst cave on the southern slope of the Kugitang ridge, right at the foot of the mountains, in the town of Akjar. The lake arose as a result of processes of karst formations. The above-ground part of the lake fell into the depths of the mountain, and as a result, access to the underground lake was opened. Apparently, before the occurrence of a failure with a depth of 30-35 meters, the underground mirror of the lake was one, and as a result of the collapse of the vaults, the reservoir was divided into two parts.
The arches of the cave are multilayer tiers of gypsum and anhydrite of light gray color. The total thickness of these tiers in this area is 800-850 meters. On the south side of the failure is the entrance to the cave. The cave is inhabited by bats, pigeons and some other bird species. The entrance to the cave is wide, the length of the path to the lake, to the surface of the water, is 50-60 meters. The whole road to the lake and the bottom of the cave are covered with large anhydrite stones that have fallen from the arches of the cave, and therefore it is very difficult to go down here. In spring, when it rains heavily, the water level in the lake rises by 20-30 meters, that is, almost to the entrance to the cave.
Until now, there has not been a practical opportunity to make accurate scientific measurements of the size of the cave and the lake, but even according to a cursory visual assessment, it is much larger than Lake Kov-Ata, which means it is the largest in the country.