Cappadocia is a small area in Central Turkey covering around 300 square kilometers which has a unique, almost surreal, landscape. Volcanic activity formed a plateau of ash and the strange, rugged rock formations were created by the forces of erosion. The unusual structures were formed by the softer ash layers eroding faster than the harder layers of basalt and andesite which remained on top making the capped cone shapes.
These formations are known as "fairy chimneys" as the early inhabitants of the region believed that humans could not have built them, and as fairies lived under ground, they must be the chimneys sticking out.
The tufa ash was easy to work with primitive tools and countless cave dwellings and churches were cut into the cones and valley walls. Underground cities were also built, some believe they date back 4000 years, and these were extended and made more complex over the generations.