The mofetta is a repercussion of volcanic activity, an uprush of mostly carbon dioxide from the depth of the earth that has been used for healing purposes.
The word "mofetta" is derived from the Latin expression "mephitis", meaning stinky exhalation. Being heavier than air CO2 accumulates in pits and thus can be used for "bathing" (standing with normal clothing in the pit). Mofettas can be found also in some parts of France, in Italy in Java (Indonesia) and Yellowstone National Park(USA). In Covasna County mofettas are a common phenomenon, their exhalations having long been used to cure diseases of the circulatory system.
On of the best-known mofetta is the Smelly Cave of Turia, so named because of the strong prickly smell of sulphur, present in it.
In Covasna the rising gas is accumulated in indoor chambers (cellars sometime) and one can use a kind of scaffolding to stand on the right height. In local mofettas the concentration of the carbon dioxide is over 90% and gases also contain a small quantity of radon (Ra++). For hundreds of years this mixture has been used for treating cardio-vascular diseases and gynecological problems. The treatment has also a beneficial effect on the skin and the nervous system. The invigorating effect of the gas enhances athletic performance.
You will find some private establishments in the town center - the Bardócz and Bene moffetes - that are preserved in their original style.