The oldest continuous coal fire in the world

Mount Wingen coal seam

Mount Wingen in New South Wales, Australia, has been smoldering for 6000 years without stop. At around 100 feet below the surface of the mountain, a coal seam has been burning and slowly moving south at a rate of 1 metre per year. In its history, the seam has covered a total area of 6.5 km, making it the oldest continuous coal fire in the world. The coal was ignited by a lightning strike or brushfire thousands of years earlier. Although a popular tourist attraction, Mount Wingen or Burning Mountain has also caused massive ecological damage to the area’s vegetation.