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There Are Only Nine ‘Eternal Flames’ In The World. This One Happens To Be Inside A Waterfall

Source: Instagram/fishlikemike

It’s pleasing to know that there are a lot of natural occurrences that are a reminder that there are incredible forces and processes at work in the world around us. These events are constantly surprising and captivating us in their immense beauty.

Today we will be talking about amazing flames that never go out. Surprising right? Yes, we have about nine amazing eternal flames from all around the world. But today we will be talking about the Eternal Flames Falls in New York.

The Famous Flame Fall In New York

There are nine existing locations all over the world where natural flames continuously burn without human intervention. These things occur naturally across the globe due to different factors like gas leaks or chemical reactions.

Source: Flickr Gregory Pleau

One of these remarkable phenomena is located in the deepest parts of New York. This famous flame is located somewhere popularly referred to as the Eternal Flame Fall, which is located within Shale Creek Preserve, a part of Chestnut Ridge Park.

Fisherman Finds Natural Eternal Flame

Just like every other day for Mike Loughran, who works as a fisherman, a photographer, and a gym teacher, he stumbled upon the beautiful sight of a burning fire in the middle of the thick forest. Surprised Mike took out his phone to make a video and share his discovery with the world.

Source: Flickr/Ian MacDonald

After capturing the video of the burning fire, Mike posted it on Instagram and captioned the video with “A rare naturally occurring eternal flame!” This clip has now gained significant attention on Instagram, accumulating over one million.

The New York Eternal Flame Has To Be The Most Famous Flames

Existing in this world are about nine of these burning fires, but reports have indicated that the eternal burning fire in New York is the most famous of them all. The popularity of the Eternal Flame Falls must have stemmed from the fact that it is located within a waterfall.

Source: Flickr/Amsterdam Asp

These flames can stay lit because they gain their perpetuity from a combination of natural gas seepages that find their way through the cracks in the earth.

So How Do The Flames Get There In The First Place

After these videos got posted, a lot of people got curious, they wanted to know how the light got there, who lit it up, and how it stayed lit. According to Mike, the eternal flame can be ignited in various ways.

Source: Pixabay/Ron van den Berg

It could get lit by the intervention of natural occurrences like lightning strikes or an intentional involvement by humans. Mike added that there is speculation that it might have been intentionally lit up by a Native American centuries ago.

Some Flames Might Have Gone Out

When it comes to natural occurrences like these, it’s always a mystery. They usually have a lot of speculation about the potential that there might be more than a hundred more of them out there.

Source: Flickr/Dilaikshan Rajendran

This speculation prompts curiosity which makes them believe that some of these other flames may never be discovered, they might just remain hidden or have even faded over time due to natural processes or human intervention.

How Does It Continue To Burn Bright?

Mike shared his observation about how the Eternal Flame Falls keeps its fire burning. He tried to connect this phenomenal occurrence to a geographical process where gas seeps from underground and fuels the flame.

Source: Flickr/Christopher Rowland

Mike concluded that this process isn’t something we are used to, he rather described it to be a new type of geological process. If we are factual, this scientific explanation makes so much sense, it helps shed a little light on how the fire keeps burning.

This Seeped Gas Comes From The Hot Deposits Of Shale

To back up his facts, Mike mentioned a fact reported by LiveScience which explained that the gas used to sustain the Eternal Flame Fall in New York comes from the very deep, ancient, and exceptionally hot layers of shale deposits.

Source: Unsplash/Patrick Hendry

The shale mentioned here is a type of sedimentary rock that is formed from clay and mineral particles and it can contain materials that produce natural gas under extreme pressure and temperature conditions over a million years.

Arndt Schimmelmann Had A Few Things To Say

Arndt Schimmelmann who is a researcher at Indiana University Bloomington, mentioned that, typically the rocks surrounding the eternal flame need the temperatures to be near boiling point to sustain the fire.

Source: Twitter/Jay T Lennon

However, in the case of the eternal fire, the rocks are only warm, just like a cup of tea making its whole existence a bigger mystery. The rocks are also geographically younger than expected.

Some Scientists Now Have A Different Opinion

The several findings as regards the Eternal Flame Fall have made them have a different opinion. Instead of the gas being produced solely by the conversion of high-temperature processes connected to the deeply buried shale deposits.

Source: Unsplash/Anton Maksimov

There’s another theory that the flames get lit by a different process. It states that the flames come from the organic molecules in the shale.

We Might Have More Shale Gas Resources

Arndt Schimmelmann added that if the gas production occurs in this same way in other locations then we might be onto something much more grand than we ever thought.

Source: Unsplash/Arno Senoner

He continued to say that we may have a significantly larger amount of shale gas resources than we thought. Only that we haven’t been able to discover them yet.

The Other Eight Natural Eternal Flames

Apart from the ‘Eternal Flame’ in New York, eight other flames exist. These natural wonders are spread all over the world and they include; Centralia Pennsylvania, a National Park in Turkey Turkmenistan, Kirkuk in Iraq, and the Jharia Coal Fields in India.

Source: Flickr/Bill Flannery

We also have Turkmenistan, the Guanziling hot spring in the Lava Lake of Erta Ale in the Ethiopian desert, Azerbaijan’s Absheron Peninsula, and the last one Olympus Valley.

There May Be More Than Nine!

Right now, we can only confirm the existence of nine major eternal flames on planet Earth, with the Eternal Flame Fall being one of them.

Source: Flickr/Ben Schumin

While so many debates about the existence of more eternal flames might exist many discussions have only been referencing these nine major ones. Also, a lot of people are curious about what happens when the fire goes out eternally but do we know? No! And we might never get to answer this question.

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Mary Scrantin

Written by Mary Scrantin

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