Hot Travel Destination: The Living Fires of Romania

The place where flames pop out of nowhere all year round.

Adelina Vasile

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There is this place far, far away in a country called Romania. A seemingly forgotten corner of the world, where nature is the only ruler. Her show is waiting for you, burning with impatience. Literally burning. The Living Fires of Romania — that’s how we call it.

As one of the most unique spectacles of nature, it’s a setting you’ll hardly find anywhere else in Europe. The scenery is at least hair-raising. There’s no vegetation other than tender, chalky plants. The earth is wizened and flames doodle out of its cracks. Billowing into the atmosphere, they swallow every dollop of oxygen coming their way. Mystical. Otherworldly. Almost sorcerous.

Romanians, at their roots avid for supernatural legends, believe that these Living Fires are protectors of all living beings. At least the locals believe so.
But many of the people who come here make a wish. They say it comes true.

Do these sneaky blue fires popping out of nowhere really have such powers? Maybe yes. Most likely no. But that’s not the point! The point is that traveling to Romania, you get the chance to witness a phenomenon that will flabbergast you. And isn’t that the whole point of traveling?

Living Fires, Lopătari, Terca Village, Romania (Source: Imperialtransilvania)

Ok, what are the Living Fires of Romania?

As quirky as they seem, the spontaneous flames have a simple and logical explanation. Here the earth exudes natural gas, which rises onto the surface, rubbing the crust. Friction heats them up and eventually, they ignite. The oh-so-enigmatic fire flames usually don’t reach more than 20 inches in height.

The only moments when they turn really creepy are during earthquakes when they can get as tall as 80 inches. You will have to admit, they are quite a doozy, especially at night.

Where exactly can you see the Living Fires?

Calling them the Living Fires of Romania won’t bring much of a clue, since there are so…

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Adelina Vasile

Mother, educator, journalist, copywriter. I write about the things I need to learn myself.