When Worland Volunteer Fire Department were called to a fire at a recycling plant it’s probably fair to say they weren’t expecting this:
What you’re looking at is a sulphur mound that has caught fire, creating a scene that’s both terrifying and yet also deeply beautiful.
Sulphur burns with a stunning blue flame and while it’s mesmerising to watch the team at Worland had to wear extensive safety equipment and breathing apparatus to make sure they weren’t breathing in the deadly sulphur dioxide that’s produced.
As the fire burns more intensely you can see small pillars of high-intensity flames spin up from the ground.
According to Worland Fire Department the mound was from the now-closed Texas Gulf Sulfur Plant and the sulphur had already been mixed with soil meaning that what you’re witnessing isn’t even 100% sulphur concentrate.
To put out the fire the team applied a small amount of water to the blaze in order to reduce the temperature of the sulphur to below molten.
Of course this comes with its own risks which is that adding water to an environment that also contains sulphur dioxide can create sulfurous acid, a relative of what’s known as ‘acid rain’.
All in all this little incident has proven to be as much a science lesson as it has a vision into what the apocalypse might look like.