There is a fire on Earth that started thousands of years ago: no one knows how it started or when it will go out

Dmitry IvancheskulLife
Fire inside Australian mountain lasts at least 6,000 years

For about six thousand years there has been a natural fire in Australia that cannot be extinguished. And no one has yet determined the cause of its beginning.

About the amazing Burning Mountain, which was discovered in the 18th century, tells IFLscience. It is by far the oldest ongoing fire on Earth and is only a four-hour drive from Sydney.

As noted, when the first explorers stumbled upon Burning Mountain in Australia's New South Wales, they thought they were seeing a volcano. But then it became clear that it was something more amazing. The mountain turned out to be the site of the world's oldest coal fire, unabated for thousands of years.

Most scientists believe the fire has been burning for at least 6,000 years, but there are those who believe this figure is an understatement and the fire is actually even older.

The hearth is located at a depth of about 30 meters under the mountain Wingen (in the Aboriginal language - fire). Finding the fireplace so deep underground makes it difficult for scientists to study it: it is simply impossible to see or estimate its extent. The fact that the fire is still blazing is evidenced by the constant smoke rising from the mountain.

Guillermo Rein, professor of fire science at Imperial College London in Britain, has previously explained that scientists can only make assumptions about the size of the hearth. He suggests that we are talking about a ball with a diameter of 5-10 meters, whose temperature reaches 1,000 degrees Celsius.

It is unable to cool down because it is in a coal-rich seam, flaming as a result of contact with the ball. It is believed that every year the orb deepens about 1 meter into the coal.

The age of the fire was determined by measuring the path of the fire, which extends about 6.5 kilometers. No one really knows exactly when this fire started.

The cause of its origin is also unknown to scientists. It could be a lightning strike or a strong bushfire. What scientists can say for sure is that it is not man-made.

Raine also said that the underground fire was so hot that a 50-meter zone formed around the hill, devoid of any vegetation.

Similar but smaller coal fires have occurred elsewhere in the world, particularly in China, India and the United States. For example, a fire that started in 1962 in a maze of abandoned coal mines in Pennsylvania continues to this day. Despite attempts to extinguish it, it is thought to last about 250 years.

Earlier OBOZREVATEL also told that astronomers have seen the hellish future of the Earth alive for the first time.

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