Construction workers in China made a video of a hose pumping water that could be set alight and burn on its own, according to Chinese online media outlet The Paper.
The water came from a newly dug well in a retirement home in a small village of Yulin City in Shaanxi Province, China, according to the report. The video was recorded and shared on Chinese social media on Aug. 26.
Flammable drinking water is not a new concept, and has been seen in other countries, including the United States. The cause is generally found to be natural gas, or methane, in the drinking water from the surrounding ground.
Burning Well Water
“Look, everyone, look at this,” the man says in the video as water flows out of the black plastic pipe. He holds a cigarette lighter under the stream, and the water begins to catch ablaze. The worker joked and said that it’d be great if only the water was gasoline, as gas prices are generally high in China, compared to the United States.
While the workers dug the new well and tested the water, they said they smelled the scent of sulfur, according to The Paper. This gave them the idea to test the water with a lighter. The result was visible bursts of flame in the daylight, but a much more vivid image once the sun set.
Evening video footage shows the water continuously burning as it flowed, without the assistance of a lighter held up to it. One of the men puts his hand under the flow of water, bringing it right up to the flame dancing atop the stream.
Another joins in as the small fire continues at the end of the pipe.
Local government officials also acknowledged that the water was indeed flammable, according to the report.
American Fire Water
Instances of flammable tap water have been recorded in the United States as well.
At best, the fire water phenomenon can be called inconclusive.