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Mystery 'Fire Hole' Baffles All Who See It

Officials can't explain the hole in northern Arkansas
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2018 11:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – A small hole in Arkansas shot flames eight to nine feet high earlier this week and no one seems to know why, THV11 reports. Firefighters responded Monday to reports of the hole and found flames shooting for up for 30 to 45 minutes before the whole thing died down. "I took a temperature reading of it and it showed 780 degrees inside the hole," says fire chief Donald Tucker. "But what caused it? I have no idea. There's no gas lines nearby and there was no smell of natural gas." Officials also dismissed theories that fossil fuels, a lightning strike, or meteor strike ignited the 3.5-foot deep hole in Midway, a town of about 1,000 in northern Arkansas, per the Wichita Eagle.

"We don’t believe that the devil showed up, or the meteorites landed, or the big booms happened," a judge tells KY3. A state official tells the Springfield News-Leader that "it looks like an existing hole was there" and adds that "it smelled like burned plastic to me." Which leaves? Not much, except social media: "Oh that's just aliens drilling for fuel," quips one commenter on a Facebook page about Arkansas weather. Others put it down to "Superman" or "giant spiders," while another mentioned the FBI shutdown at the Sunspot Solar Observatory in New Mexico: "Not saying it's connected, but it would be interesting timing if there was an increase in meteorological activity." (Sadly, the feds are attributing the shutdown to child pornography.)

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