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6 Destinations That Are Going to Burn Forever [Copy link] 中文

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(By Ada Carr via Weather)


Natural gasses underneath the surface play a large role when it comes to eternal flames.

The smoky destinations smolder year-round.

Some of the world’s most captivating landmarks are characterized by colorful foliage, glistening water or soaring mountains. However, other destinations have a more fiery appeal.

Mostly ignited by naturally-occurring gasses from beneath the Earth’s surface, there are multiple places around the globe that are famous for their eternal blaze.


1. Smoking Hills, Canada (Ansgar Walk/Wikimedia Commons)


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Located in Canada’s Northwest Territories, the Smoking Hills erupt year-round.

The embers are created when vast deposits of carbon-rich shale and sulphur-rich pyrite ignite spontaneously as the hills become eroded, which exposes the minerals to air and produces a constant smoke.

These active areas of fire-baked rocks occur along sea cliffs and are characterized by the bleaching, baking and reddening of the otherwise dark mudstones, according to a 1984 study published in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. They shoot fumes of hot, sulfurous gas into the air and have high ground temperatures.
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2. Door To Hell, Turkmenista (Flickr/Tormod Sandtorv)

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The Door to Hell is a natural gas field in Derweze, Turkmenistan, and is known for its natural gas fire which has been burning continuously since it was lit by Soviet petrochemical scientists in 1971.

This phenomenon was born after scientists reportedly began drilling on top of a pocket of natural gas, believing it was an oil field, according to Smithsonian. The site caved underneath the weight of the researcher’s equipment, opening up the fiery chasm it has become today.

Natural gas being emitted from the crater began to kill off the area’s wildlife as the methane in the air displaced oxygen, making it difficult for the animals to breathe.

The researchers decided to light the crater on fire in an attempt to burn away the natural gas, Smithsonian also reports.

It continues to burn today, almost 50 years later, inside of a 230-foot-wide pit and has become a popular tourist attraction, drawing roughly 12,000 – 15,000 visitors a year.
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3. Baba Gurgur, Iraq (Wikimedia Commons)

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Located near the city of Kirkuk, Iraq, the Eternal Fire of Baba Gurgur has reportedly been burning for more than 4,000 years.

Its name roughly translates from Kurdish to “Father of Eternal Fire,” and it became known as the world’s largest oilfield after the Turkish Petroleum Company first struck oil there in 1927, according to United Arab Emirates news outlet The National. It was later dethroned by the discovery of the larger Ghawar field in 1948.

The flames are kept alive by natural gas and a flammable component known as naphtha, according to an entry in the American Journal of Science.

It describes the location as “a flat, circular spot, 50 feet in diameter, perforated by 100 or more small holes, whence issue clear smokeless flames, smelling strongly of sulfur.”
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4. Brennender Berg, Germany (Wikimedia Commons)

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A coal fire that has been burning since the 17th century remains alight in Germany.

Brennender Berg, which translates from German to “burning mountain,” has been burning since the 1600s, according to Atlas Obscura.

Although smoke from the site is not as intense as it was when it first occurred, smoke and its scent still characterize the area, according to a tourist site.

The fiery destination is said to be kept alive by a coal seam just below the ground’s surface that ignited due to a spark from either a shepherd’s fire or spontaneous combustion, Atlas Obscura also reports. Attempts to douse the fire have been unsuccessful, leaving smoke to seep from the Earth and causing the ground to be warm to the touch.

Today the attraction appears to have strange mounds that appear spontaneously.
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5. Burning Mountain, Australia (Burning Mountain Nature Reserve/National Parks and Wildlife Service)

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Made up of ancient marine and coal-bearing sediment, Australia’s Burning Mountain achieves its smoldering look thanks to two coal seams located about 10 miles north of the attraction that somehow ignited and have been burning at the rate of about 3 feet per year, according to Australian Heritage.

Today, an almost 7-meter-long coal seam continues to burn between 65 and 98 feet below the surface and the mountain’s surface contains multiple outlets for rising smoke and fumes, which creates a haze and leaves behind yellow sulfur deposits, red iron oxides and white sinter powder around the openings, also according to the site.

These fumes mingle with the air, feeding the fires below and creating a furnace that with temperatures reaching almost 3100 ˚F.

It’s uncertain what first ignited the coal seam fire, however, it is said Aboriginal groups used to use the flames for warmth, cooking and to make tools for thousands of years, reports Science Alert.

It is now a nature reserve under the care of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
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6. Eternal Flames Falls, New York

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An eternal flame has an unlikely home behind a waterfall in New York’s Chestnut Ridge County Park.

The flame is caused by a gas pocket, which hikers can re-light whenever it appears to go out, keeping up the cycle, Atlas Obscura reports.

One of the few hundred “natural” eternal flames left, it may have first been lit by Native Americans hundreds or thousands of years ago, according to LiveScience.

Though a fire existing beneath a sheet of water is astounding enough, the conditions surrounding the phenomenon are just as unique.

The shale rocks feeding the flame are about as warm as a cup of tea and are relatively young, also according to Atlas Obscura.

Researchers suggest this means the gas is being created through a different process in which some other force is
creating gas from organic molecules in the shale.
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