Monday, January 4, 2016

The mystery of New York’s eternal flame

For years, scientists thought that the eternal flame in New York was kept alight by gas produced by ancient, extremely hot rocks.

However, researchers from Indiana University have discovered that the rocks underneath the Chestnut Ridge County Park aren’t hot enough to produce this gas, which means another process is producing the gas that’s keeping the flame burning.

There are hundreds of ‘natural’ eternal flames around the world, and each one is thought to be kept alight by natural gas produced from the rocks beneath it. The gas used to keep the flames burning is thought to come from ancient and extremely hot rocks called shale.

However, Arndt Schimmelmann and the researchers from Indiana University discovered that rocks beneath the flame in New York aren’t hot enough to produce this reaction. Schimmelmann told OurAmazingPlanet that the rocks were only the temperature of a ‘cup of tea’.


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