201208 Blue flame
A still from the video being circulated on social media. Image Credit: YouTube/Sabq

Abu Dhabi: A video clip of flames emerging from the ground in one of the villages in the New Valley Governorate in southwestern Egypt raised questions about the weird phenomenon that terrified the local population.

The widely-circulated clip in Egypt shows blue and red flames emerging from the ground, while Egyptians expressed concern that the phenomenon was a prelude to an eruption of a volcano that was dormant.


The cause of the strange phenomenon

Local authorities immediately sent a scientific team to the scene to study its causes. The team said the phenomenon was caused by high-temperature gas emissions from the lower layers, rich in flammable organic materials, which interacts with the groundwater that contains sulfur and emerges through breaks in layers of soil in the form of fumes loaded with sulfur and oxides, according to the Egyptian media.

In a statement, the governor of the region, Mohammed Al Zomlout, assured the local population that the phenomenon is not dangerous, pointing out that there is no evidence of volcanic flows in the area, and that ignition occurs near the surface of the earth.

On the other hand, Mohammed Tharwat Heikal, Professor of Geology at Tanta University, attributed the phenomenon to what is known as the “hot springs”, which occurs as a result of the water cycle in the ground, and when it is weak, these hot waters are released on the surface of the earth.

“The fires is caused by the fact that the rocks associated with these hot bituminous waters contain flammable materials.

The professor of geology pointed out that this phenomenon is ancient and dated back to thousands of years. “It occurs in many regions and countries of the world, including India, Turkey, Egypt, and China,” he said.