If fires, sometimes uncontrollable, unfortunately break out too often, in places impacted by global warming, they remain temporary. The fires in question in this super hot top, on the other hand, are natural and perpetual. Strange phenomena that never cease to fascinate…
1. The Gates of Hell (Turkmenistan)
The gates of hell… quite a program! A huge hole more than 70 meters in diameter, which has housed an impressive blaze since 1971. 1971 being the year the cavity was formed when a team of Russian scientists set out to exploit the large quantity of gas present in the basement of this region of the Karakum desert. It is indeed as soon as the drilling began that things got out of hand. A significant amount of methane was released and those responsible for the thing decided to set it on fire to limit the risks. And since then, the fire has never gone out… The site is also very touristy. Yurts have even been installed all around, at a good distance, to allow visitors to sleep on site.
2. The Mountain of Fire (Azerbaijan)
It is said that already at the time, Marco Polo had taken fright while visiting the region which according to him, was in the grip of fires as mysterious as frightening. Many years later, it was of course understood that these fires were due to the presence in the ground of large reserves of pressurized gas. Since then, the exploitation of the gas in question has caused a decrease in the phenomenon. Except on the side of Yanar Dag, where people come from everywhere to see a spectacular perpetual wall of fire 10 meters long. Apparently it was a shepherd who accidentally turned it on in the 1950s.
3. The Ardent Fountain (Miribel-Lanchatre)
It is one of the seven wonders of Dauphiné: the Ardent Fountain! A kind of perpetual campfire, in the mountains, not far from Grenoble, near the village of Miribel-Lanchâtre. It may happen that the flame goes out because of the wind but it is very easy to relight it. Perfect for grilling sausages while hiking.
4. Chamchamal Pit of Fire (Iraq)
Dug in 2015 to irrigate a nearby farm, this well released methane which has continued to burn ever since. More than 2200 liters of gas are consumed every day. This is not without representing a risk for people living nearby as well as for the environment.
5. Eternal Flame Falls (USA)
A pretty little waterfall that hides a cavity where a perpetual fire burns… So inevitably, such a phenomenon has given rise to some legends. We would have seen elves in Orchard Park, in the state of New York, where the flame is located. The presence of trees with roots as sprawling as they are apparent, only gives the place a most mysterious aura. All it takes is Big Foot to get involved…
6. Centralia (USA)
Welcome to Centralia, Pennsylvania. Here, at the top of this huge burning coal reserve, the streets and vacant lots are constantly letting out a strange smoke that is perfect for creating a slightly creepy Halloween atmosphere. In Centralia where only 7 people lived in 2007, there, above a pile of smoking coal… FYI, it’s the city that inspired the video game Silent Hill. It gives you an idea of the atmosphere…
7. Yanartas (Turkey)
One of the oldest perpetual lights in the world. Just imagine: this Turkish mountain has been burning for 2500 years. When Julius Caesar tried to conquer the world, there was already fire! At the same time, man learned to exploit this phenomenon. In the past, sailors used lights as landmarks when they approached the coast. In short, a natural lighthouse.
8. Baku Temple (Azerbaijan)
Inevitably, before we really understood why a fire could burn naturally and perpetually, such phenomena could take on spiritual meanings. This is what happened in the peninsula of Abseron, where a natural gas pipe, on fire, inspired the inhabitants to build a temple intended for sacrifices. In 1969, however, the flame finally died out. It burns again today and the whole site is registered with UNESCO.
9. Burning Mountain (Australia)
Here we are in New South Wales, where a mountain has been burning for more than 6000 years… A phenomenon that is certainly fascinating but also rather problematic for the region. According to the specialists, it would be the lightning which would have lit the wick a very very long time ago…
10. The Smoking Hills (Canada)
In this part of Canada, quite to the north, it is traditionally very cold. However, these hills located by the sea have not stopped burning for centuries. The cause ? Several sulfur-rich lignite deposits. Particularly photogenic, the site also attracts many tourists.