Farmer fries egg on mysterious boiling earth surface

Staff writer

Property owners at a Mount Denison station, in Australia's Northern Territory, were puzzled when a patch of earth began inexplicably smoking on Saturday.

The boiling surface – which cannot be extinguished with water, according to Terry and Dianne Martin – was recorded at 210 degrees Celsius (410 degrees Fahrenheit) before the thermometer melted.

"I noticed there seemed to be smoke mixed with the usual dust from the cattle," property owner Dianne Martin told Storyful.

"At first I didn't think it could be smoke because there's nothing in the area that's flammable. But once I got closer I saw it was definitely smoke. There was a black burning ring on the ground and the cow manure in the dirt was burning.

"We doused it with water and ensured it was no longer burning. But when we returned later in the afternoon another three circles had popped up in close vicinity. We then decided to leave it to run its course seen as pouring water over it didn't have any effect. We also tried scraping away the topsoil, which was burning, to try (to) stop it but other spores kept popping up."

She said a thermometer could only be pushed two inches into the ground as it had been "baked hard".

The Martins then decided to fry an egg on the surface, cooked thoroughly by the intense heat.