One of Earth’s nine ‘eternal flames’ discovered inside a waterfall – natural gas ongoing release!

March 30, 2024

Originally published by Indy 100 Weekly Newsletter. Story by Harry Fletcher.

f you needed reminding just how incredible nature is, one of the Earth’s ‘eternal flames’ has been captured in a staggering video posted on social media.

The beautiful natural feature shows a “never-ending” flame tucked away behind a waterfall and it was captured by Mike Loughran, who goes by @fishlikemike on Instagram.

Footage recorded in January showcases the Eternal Flame Falls in Orchard Park, and despite the icy conditions and nearby waterfall the flame is burning strongly in the clip.

Writing in the video caption, Loughran said: “A rare naturally occurring eternal flame!

“This flame is one of the 9 big naturally occurring eternal flames we have here on earth. Some argue there are more, but many refer to the 9 big ones.

“This flame here is one of the more famous eternal flames due to it’s location inside of a waterfall. They occur because of cracks in the earth that leak a combination of natural gas.

While the true number of naturally occurring flames like this one is unknown, one of the most famous sits at the top of a mountain in southwest Turkey, known as the Flames of Chimaera.

Just like the one captured by Loughran, the flaming mountaintop is gas escaping from deep within the earth.

“We have discovered these unusual types of methane in many, many sites. It’s not a rare phenomenon,” said Giuseppe Etiope, a member of the group who helped discover the cause of the Flames of Chimaera in 2014.