Sunday, 26. April 2015
27. 05. 14. - 16:00
Locals in this village need to be careful when working in the fields because even a single spark from a metal farming implement striking a stone can cause the air to literally burst into flames, as this picture shows.
In fact the phenomenon is so common now that Nanjiawan village in south-west China is known by its nickname as 'Invisible Fire Village'.
The frequent fireballs are caused by methane gas seeping out of the ground and being lit either by unwary people using cigarettes with unfortunate consequences, or sparks from electrical equipment in the few houses that have electricity generators in the village.
Superstitious locals initially called in priests believing that they had been cursed by evil spirits. After that failed to drive away the methane gas explosions, some of the more enterprising villagers dug tunnels under their homes and using the gas to create basic underfloor heating systems.
The gas was discovered less than a year ago when an 83-year-old woman called Su Geng reported to authorities a strange smell emanating from the cellar where she stores sweet potatoes.
She said: "They told me after doing test that was methane leaking out of the ground, and they set fire to the air to prove it to me."
Methane coming out of the ground and burning occurs in many places over the world, and on one hillside on Turkey's Mediterranean coast fires have been burning for thousands of years.
But the locals in China are afraid that the 'Invisible Fire' will one day burn out of control and kill them in their beds.
A police spokesman said: "It doesn't matter how often they are told that it is an explainable natural phenomenon, there are many who view it as a sinister thing and insist that it evil spirits and other hocus pocus is at play.
"In fact the most logical explanation is staring them in the face every day. There is a natural gas mine not far from the village. It's likely that the gas leaks and goes underground to the village, causing the fires there. It is not witchcraft or sorcery but simple natural science."
Semmering Offers 50% Discount To Selected Heroes
The Magic Mountain Semmering will hold two Weeks of Heroes from 1st to 14th March as Panhans Holding Group says thank you to safety and well-being volunteers and professionals.
Skier Survived Almost Two Hours Buried Alive
A skier had a miracle escape after being buried under two metres of snow for nearly two hours during an avalanche in Austria, it was revealed last night.
Puppies Found Stuffed Inside Suitcase In Back Of Van
A litter of puppies destined for a dog farm was rescued after being found stuffed inside suitcases in the back of a van.
Kangaroo That Hopped It Spotted In Garden
Austrian police investigating reports of an escaped kangaroo have been given concrete proof after a local woman managed to photograph the animal in her back garden.
First Images Of Eurovision Stage
These are the first images of the design for the Eurovision Song Contest stage unveiled in the Austrian capital Vienna which is the home of last year's winner Conchita Wurst.
Russian Mafia Boss Nabbed At Vienna Railway Station
A Russian mobster wanted for a string of brutal murders was arrested in the gentile Austrian capital Vienna when commandos swooped as he went to buy a train ticket.
Teen Girls Arrested After Offering Themselves To IS Fighters
Austrian officials who recently cracked down on terrorism by arresting several people believed to be recruiting and fundraising for ISIS have revealed two more teenage girls tried to leave the country to marry terrorist fighters.
Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student
Austria has yet to record its first case of Ebola, but the feared virus has already had a severe impact on the lives of Africans living in Vienna.
Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus
Whilst the world-famous Wizard of Oz played at the Volksoper, there was another Wizard in the Konzerthaus giving his 16th performance in Vienna!
Penelope Cruz To Play The Ice Cream Killer
The memoirs of the woman dubbed the Ice Cream Killer after she shot dead two ex-lovers before hacking the bodies up with a chainsaw and telling neighbours the noise was a new ice cream machine are due to be turned into a blockbuster with Penelope Cruz playing the lead role.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Cyclist Disfigured After Truck Door Opens|
|Six Legged Kid Dubbed Spider Goat|
|Teacher Beats Girl As Shocked Classmates Reduced To Tears|
|Father Dresses In Drag To Raise Money For Sick Son|
|Devoted Wife Pulls Blind Hubby Around With Bamboo Stick|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.