Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hot Ground

The ground in a certain region of Southern California, in Ventura County, has reached a scorching temperature of over 800 degrees. This was noticed after the land got so hot that it started a brush fire and burned three acres last month. By the time firefighters hit the scene, nothing but smoldering dirt remained.

"We are a little perplexed at this point, to tell you the truth," the Ventura County Star quoted geologist David Panaro as saying. "This is not your usual geological detective story."

One theory is that natural hydrocarbons, such as oil, are burning deep in the earth and seeping out through cracks in the region, forcing the surface to quickly heat and generate smoke.

Allen King, a former geologist with the U.S. Forest Service recently stuck a thermometer into the ground and got a reading of 550 degrees — so hot that it melted the glue holding the sole of his boots together.

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