A view of the non-impressive Flaming Geyser in Flaming Geyser State Park near Black Diamond, Washington. According to the nearby sign:
On October 4, 1911 Eugene Lawson drilled a hole for the purpose of discovering coal. At about 390 feet he found a seam of clean coal 6.5 feet thick. Gas started coming out as he drilled past 900 feet. The hole is 1403 feet deep and 6 inches wide. The gas was used to feed the burners on three boilers to run the drilling equipment. During drilling saltwater was also spewing from the hole. There is still a 40 foot bed of dirty coal that has not been tapped.
On October 11, 1922 Mr. Lawson returned and observed the gas "bubbling furiously". He ignited the gas and it burned freely with a flame from 5 inches to three feet in height. The flame was a clear yellow with a reddish cast.
On April 9, 1927 the air temperature was 54 degrees F and the water temperature in the Flaming Geyser was 58.5 degrees F. The basin at that time was 6 feet in diameter and the flame would occasionally leap up to 15 feet in height.
There was a period of time when the flame burned regularly at about 6 to 8 feet. Time and the use of some dynamite on the hole in the 1930s has taken a toll on the geyser.
The flame burned significantly higher before the 1960's and was featured on "Ripley's Believe It or Not."
The Flaming Geyser of today is but a remnant of what it once was. Experiments in recent years have determed that the gas is 89% pure methane and that salt water continues to come to the surface.
The flame itself has gone out since about 2016.
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.