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Eternal Flames: Places Around The World That Have Been Burning For Years - Science/Technology - Nairaland

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Eternal Flames: Places Around The World That Have Been Burning For Years by Bekwarra(m): 4:25pm On Sep 01, 2019
For several days now global attention has been focused on the fast burning Amazon rainforest, the largest rainforest in the world. For weeks now the Amazon has been burning at an alarming rate with large swathes of rainforest being depleted.

The importance of the Amazon to the global ecosystem as well as the economy and living in South America cannot be overemphasized. However, regardless of the magnitude and the importance, it is not the only place on earth that is burning. In fact, some have been burning for several years.

Earlier this week, we took a look at the Darvaza Gas Crater in Turkmenistan that has been burning since 1971- a whopping forty-eight years with no idea when the fire is going to stop.

Here we take a look at other locations around the world where fires have been soldering for ages. This might look like a page out of a book of fiction but it is actually real.

1. Yanar Dag
You might have heard of Azerbaijan being referred to as the land of fire, this Yanar Dag is a principal reason for that appellation.

The Yanar Dag which in Azerbaijani means “burning mountain” or “fire mountain” is located in the Absheron Peninsula on the Caspian Sea near Baku, the country’s capital. Azerbaijan is known for its large reserves of natural gas and over the centuries there have been fires burning at different areas around the country due to natural gas leaking out from crevices to the surface.

Legendary explorer Marco Polo wrote of the mysterious phenomena when he passed through the country in the 13th century. Other Silk Road merchants brought news of the flames as they would travel to other lands. It’s why the country earned itself the moniker the “land of fire.” The Yanar Dag is one of the last of those fires. Five hundred years after Marco Polo, French writer Alexandre Dumas witnessed natural flames in a mysterious fire temple.
The Yanar Dag is believed to have been burning for over 4,000 years and despite the seasonal rain, wind and snow, it has never stopped burning.

One can easily understand how these natural flames must have amazed and terrified people in history, and it doesn’t come as a surprise that the natural fires of Azerbaijan are considered to have played a crucial part in the creation of Zoroastrianism — a mystical faith, centered around ceremonial fire cults, which appeared in the region around 2,000 years ago.

The natural flames of Azerbaijan can be attributed to its enormous gas reserves. When exploitation of these reserves began, most of the natural fires burned out, due to a reduction in underground pressure. Of the natural fires that burn today in Azerbaijan, Yanar Dağ is arguably the most impressive.
A 10m long wall of fire, that never extinguishes, is burning continuously alongside the edge of the hill, which naturally is at its most spectacular at night, when tourists and locals alike view the fire from a nearby teahouse. Local lore states that it was a shepherd that accidentally ignited the fire in the 1950s by tossing a cigarette, and that it has burnt ever since.
It was declared a state protected conservation area in 2007.

2. The Burning Mountain of Australia
Real name Mount Wingen, the mountain is located in New South Wales Australia. It has been burning for 6000 years without stop. Just below the surface of the earth in New South Wales, a coal seam has been burning and slowly moving south along the mountain at a rate of one meter per year. In its history, the seam has covered a total area of 6.5 km, making it the oldest continuous coal fire in the world.

Coal seams are extremely common across the world, and at any time there are more than 1000 burning. They happen frequently in lesser-developed mineral rich countries, but are often put out within a few days or at most a month. Considering the average duration of a coal seam fire, Mount Wingen’s fiery longevity has become something of a wonder across the globe and tourists have flocked to see the sulfur-tinged smoke emanating from the mountain.

The aborigines called the mountain Wingen, which means ‘fire’, and used its heat for warmth in the winter months, for cooking and for the manufacture of tools. They believed that the mountain was set on fire by a tribesman to warn others when the Devil carried him off deep into the earth. European explorers and early settlers knew of the Burning Mountain but they thought the smoke coming out of the ground was volcanic in origin. It was not until 1829 that a geologist identified it as a coal seam fire.

Although Mount Wingen has attracted tourists in droves, it has also caused massive ecological damage to the area’s vegetation. The path of the fire has left a barren and rocky trail, with no traces of life. Most assumed the fire was caused by volcanic activity, but it is now clear coal was ignited by a lightning strike or brush fire thousands of years earlier. The area is administered by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and is a natural reserve.

3. Baba Gurgur Oil Field
Baba Gurgur is an oil and gas field, located in the city of Kirkuk in Northern Iraq. It was entitled the world’s largest oil field till the discovery of Ghawar in Saudi Arabia. As per reports, the field has been burning for over 4000 years now.
The field was first discovered by Turkish Petroleum Company, the predecessor of the Iraq Petroleum Company, on October 15 1927, in an attempt to strike oil. This was the first modern oil well in Iraq. When oil was struck, it flowed uncontrollably for several days, thus endangering the environment and habitation in and around the city of Kirkuk. But with time, the oil reservoir proved to have an immensely high producing capacity.

According to the American Journal of Science (1939)
”Near to the wells is a pool of muddy stagnant water, covered with a thick scum deeply tinged with sulphur. A few hundred yards to the east of the top of the same hill is a flat circular spot, 50 feet in diameter, perforated by 100 or more small holes, whence issue clear smokeless flames, smelling strongly of sulphur. In fact, the whole surface of this perforated spot of ground appeared as a crust of sulphur over a body of fire within; the surface being perforated by a dagger, a flame instantly issued, rising, sometimes even higher than the others.”

The Baba Gurgur oil field was described as far back as Herodotus (c. 484–425 BC), the ancient Greek author, and some believe it to be the fiery furnace in the Book of Daniel, of Old Testament, into which King Nebuchadnezzar (630-562 BC), King of Babylon, threw three Jews for refusing to worship his golden idol. The flames have a significant symbolic value for residents of Kirkuk. It is believed that the heat of the eternal flames was used by shepherds to warm their flocks during winter, and women would visit Baba Gurgur, asking to have a baby boy. This ancient practice probably goes back to the time of fire worshipping.

What are your thoughts?


https://www.phillakaysblog.com/flames-places-the-worldhave-been-burning/

1 Like

Re: Eternal Flames: Places Around The World That Have Been Burning For Years by peteruuu(m): 4:26pm On Sep 01, 2019
Wow!
May God, His grace on us do shower!
Re: Eternal Flames: Places Around The World That Have Been Burning For Years by Bekwarra(m): 4:29pm On Sep 01, 2019
Photos
1,2,3 and 4 above- The Yanar Dag
5,6,7 and 8- the Burning Mountain

Re: Eternal Flames: Places Around The World That Have Been Burning For Years by dangermouse(m): 4:44pm On Sep 01, 2019
Nice one.

Nature never stops to facinate.
Re: Eternal Flames: Places Around The World That Have Been Burning For Years by bamirotola: 11:32pm On Sep 01, 2019
Awesome!! Continue OP

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