When arriving in Buffalo city (New York state), tourists often flock to the magnificent Niagara Falls. But there is another interesting waterfall that you should not miss. Located in a quiet corner of Chestnut Ridge Park, the Eternal Flame Falls in western New York is a beautiful fusion of fire and water, despite the laws of nature.
In the center of the waterfall is a small fire bursting with natural gas. The pedestrians that passed by lit it, keeping the fire burning forever. Eternal flames created by natural gas currents are common, but the image of a solitary fire under the fast flowing water makes Eternal Flame unique.
The strange fire has sparked legends and imagination about the appearance of goblins. Although the stories were quickly disproved, the waterfall remains a scientific mystery.
There is not a single accurate information about who first lit the fire, although it is speculated that the fire was started by Native Americans thousands of years ago. But the most puzzling thing is that even though there is a stream of natural gas that powers the fire, the shale underneath is not hot enough to sustain it. Similarly, the fact that fire exists when surrounded by water is also unexplained.
Arndt Schimmelmann, a researcher at Indiana University, thinks that the fire is special because it was fed by a geological process that has never been observed in nature. Perhaps the source, he guessed, came from another location.
Visitors come here all year round, but winter often brings challenges and its own beauty. Whatever season you visit the Eternal Flame, always carry a lighter. The fire here goes out from time to time, so even if you can still hear a click, it’s okay to re-light it without any risk. This can be one of the most memorable moments of your trip.
These mysteries make the Eternal Flame more attractive to tourists. The more you know about it, the more you will be eager to include this place on your “Must-Go Places” list.
The journey to discover the fire both go and back is less than 1.6 km, but also requires visitors to “move” through the relatively crooked trail. In addition, there is also a large sinkhole in the lower shale slot. The riverbed is wet, muddy and slippery all year round, so a good pair of boots and walking sticks are a must in inventory.