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Lankaran is a city in Azerbaijan, on the coast of the Caspian Sea, near the southern border with Iran. It has a population of 226,799 (2018). It is next to, but independent of, Lankaran District. The city forms a distinct first-order division of Azerbaijan.
There are sandy beaches near Lankaran. Thermal sulphide, chloride, sodium-calcium waters of Andjin (Upper and Lower) mineral springs are situated 12 km west of the town. Also to the west are the ruins of Ballabur castle, near the village with the same name.
The region has a vast area of national parks, where a variety of fauna and flora are preserved. Gizil-Agach State Reserve hosts over 250 kinds of plants, 30 species of fish and more than 220 kinds of birds. Lankaran is also known for Parrotia, or ironwood. It is naturally grown in the region and could be seen in Hirkan National Park. Local myth has it that it is the only wood that sinks in water, hence the name (ironwood). Historically it has been used for heating, since it burns for a long time and is not easily extinguished. The Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) subspecies of the leopard, lives in the national park as well. In 1937, members of the Opilio lepidus species of harvestman were sighted in the area.
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