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The World's Oldest Eternal Fire, Has Been Burning For 6,000 Years in Australia

 


The national park in Sydney, Australia, has had fires burning for approximately 6,000 years. This makes it the oldest fire on the planet. What causes it to light up?

Launching Science Alert, Monday (3/1/2021) no one knows for sure what caused the fire. According to records from Europe, this fire was first noticed in 1828 when a local farmer said he discovered a volcano in the Mount Wingen region.


A year later in 1829, the geologist Reverend CPN Wilton concluded that the alleged volcano was actually a coal seam fire. Measurements show that the path of the fire is about 6.5 kilometers long. This indicates that the fire has been burning for at least 6,000 years. However, apart from that, almost no official research has been conducted in the area.



This site is considered sacred by the traditional Aboriginal tribe, the Wanaruah people, who use it for cooking and making weapons. The legends of their origin speak of a widow whose tears ignite a fire, or the torch of a warrior captured by the 'Evil' under a mountain. But Professor Guillermo Rein from Imperial College London, England, said natural causes were the most likely source.


"You can't rule out anthropogenic interference, but it's most likely a natural cause," he explains.


"It could be a forest fire from a lightning strike that caused this. Or it could be due to heating that occurs by itself," continued Rein.


A self-heating fire occurs when the coal seam is close enough to the surface for the coal to be exposed to oxygen. If there is enough scorching heat during successive periods (perhaps due to climate change), the surface of the coal heats up and becomes hot enough to heat other rock. This is what ultimately triggers ignition.


Studies show that the self-heating point for coal can range from as little as 35 to 140 degrees Celsius. What's perhaps even more interesting is that we also don't know exactly how old the fire was. Researchers have found evidence to suggest that the same fire can burn longer.


"It's not just 6,000 years old... at least 6,000 years. It could actually be hundreds of thousands of years old," he concluded.


It should be noted that this research was unpublished and not peer-reviewed and should therefore be reviewed more wisely. But agree or disagree, this adds to the mystery of the eternal fire that continues to burn endlessly.

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