Mount Wingen is located 200 kilometers north of Sydney, which means “fire” in the indigenous Wanaruah language. The legend told by the aborigines says that one day a man was brought into the depths of the earth by an evil entity and to warn others and make them flee he set a fire in the heart of the mountain.
In fact, “Burning Mountain” features an impressive event that many scientists are trying to reconstruct, a fire that has lasted for at least 6000 years.
“No one knows the extent of the fire under the burning mountain, it can only be deduced,” says Guillermo Rayne, a professor at Imperial College London. “It’s likely to be a ball about 5-10 meters in diameter, and its temperature reaches 1,000 degrees,” he explains.
There are about 30 meters underground of coal seams and that is precisely why the fire does not stop and it is impossible to stop it. The first time it was observed by a European dates back to 1828. At first it was thought to be a volcano, but already from the first investigations at that time it was understood that it was something different. Flames last 6.5 kilometers but we don’t know what caused the first spark.
“It’s not 6000 years old…it’s at least 6000 years old,” says Ryan. “It could be hundreds of thousands of years old.”
If you go to Australia you can visit it without problems. It is difficult to see from the surface, what you notice is a sudden change of scenery, in the smoke and the rocks around you will be very hot.
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