Man Finds Rare ‘Eternal Flame’ Inside a Waterfall

Instagram // @fishlikemike

Our planet has nine known natural ‘eternal flames,’ which are flames that burn endlessly without being tended to by humans. Each eternal flame has been burning for hundreds of years, with some of them originating thousands of years ago. Most of them are located atop natural gas leaks, meaning that they’re atop a big enough fuel supply to stay ablaze. Some were caused by people lighting them, while some were created through lightning strikes. Eternal flames have been found in Turkey, India, Iraq, Nepal, and New York, at the aptly named Eternal Flame Falls, which is where Mike Loughran came across one.

The Journey

Mike Loughran is a fisherman, photographer, and gym teacher, who can now add ‘influencer’ to his resume, as his images of the eternal flame went viral, boasting over 21.7 million views on Instagram. The video, which was captioned, “A rare naturally occurring eternal flame!” shows the fire burning inside a waterfall. Loughran explained, “The flame being inside of a rock wall inside of a waterfall gets great protection from winds and water since the flame is about an arm’s length deep into the falls. It does occasionally blow out in rare heavy wind and weather storms. Hikers often bring a lighter to relight the flame.”

The Most Famous Eternal Flame

While Loghran’s discovery was certainly an impressive one, boasting a combination of fire and water, it isn’t the most iconic eternal flame. That honor goes to the Darvaza gas crater in Turkmenistan which – as the name suggests – fills an entire crater. The crater is located atop a natural gas field, which has been causing it to burn for decades without any signs of slowing down.

Instagram // @hidden.ny

The Darvaza gas crater is a major tourist attraction in Turkmenistan – a country notorious for rarely giving out visas – making it one of the sole tourist spots in the country.