This Town Has Been on Fire for More Than 50 Years

photos-albums.com
photos-albums.com

The borough of Centralia is located in Columbia County, Pennsylvania. In the late 1800s it was a thriving anthracite coal mining town with a population of close to 3,000, but as of 2013 the population is no more than seven.

The diminished population is the result of an underground coal mine fire that has lasted for over fifty years. The fire continues to burn as of 2015 and could last for another 250 years according to some estimates.

It is not definitively known how the fire started back in 1962, but it is believed to be the result of trash burning. The town Council had been deliberating ways to clean up the Centralia landfill, and it is suspected that the dump was burned even though it was prohibited by state law.

Though water was used to extinguish the fire on the night it was started, the flames reappeared several days later. There were several more attempts to contain the fire but it was soon discovered that the smoldering trash had made its way into the intricate pathways of the coal mine beneath the ground.

With no way to smother the inferno, the entire population of Centralia relocated over a short time. Most residents accepted a $42 million buyout allocated by Congress for relocation to nearby towns, while the remaining residents were ordered to leave after the land was overtaken by the state through eminent domain.

Centralia’s ominous smoking streets were the inspiration for the movie, Silent Hill, adapted from the popular video game.

Next Article
ADVERTISEMENT
  • How Drowning Wildebeests Feed the Serengeti

    Every year, over 1 million wildebeest undertake their annual migration through the Serengeti. They do this in search of fresh grass caused by the area’s rainfall patterns. This annual trek is the largest land-based animal migration in the world, but it is also very dangerous. Not only are many of the animals taken down by...

    Read More
  • The Coronation of the Corpse Queen

    Most people like a good love story. But this macabre true tale of a Portuguese royal romance can satisfy both fans of romance and horror stories at the same time. In 1340, Ines de Castro came to Portugal as a lady in waiting for the Princess Constanca of Castile, who was set to marry Prince...

    Read More
  • Rare Ship Burials Discovered in Iceland

    Archaeologists have recently discovered a series of Viking burials in a fjord in North Iceland. So far, a total of four burials have been uncovered, with two being ship burials. Boat burials are often associated with Viking funerals in the popular imagination, but they are actually quite rare. This is because they were reserved only...

    Read More
  • The Mystery of the Mary Celeste

    On December 5, 1872, the crew aboard the British ship Dei Gratia saw another ship floating in the water. No crew was visible on the other boat, which was recognized as the Mary Celeste, so the captain ordered that the Dei Gratia see if the people on the other ship needed help. What the boarding...

    Read More
  • Conjoined Porpoise Twins Found in North Sea

    The phenomenon of conjoined twins is well-known among humans and other animals. There are often news reports of life-saving surgeries undertaken to separate and save conjoined children. And oddity museums like Ripley’s usually contain pictures or models of conjoined animals like two-headed calves. A recent discovered instance of this condition is even more rare and...

    Read More
  • French Fries Can Kill You

    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition just released some really depressing news. According to a recent study, French fries can be deadly. In fact, they are so bad for you that they can double your risk of an early death if you eat them as often as two times per week. And it’s not just...

    Read More
  • The Impostor Princess

    On a spring day in 1817, in the small town of Almondsbury in Gloucestershire, England, a local cobbler encountered a confused and disoriented young woman. Although she was English in appearance, she was wearing strange clothing, including a turban, and she did not speak or understand English. No one knew who she was, and she...

    Read More
  • America’s Most Haunted House

    When most people think about San Diego, they imagine beautiful beaches, cultural attractions like their world-famous zoo and Balboa Park, and endless sunshine. But the city has a darker side, including what has been billed as America’s most haunted house. Located in the area now called Old Town, it was once at the heart of...

    Read More