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Top 10 fascinating fire facts to whet the spirit

Fire has been an integral part of human civilization since the beginning of our history. On the one hand, it gives us warmth and drives our industry. On the other hand, fires can rage uncontrollably and destroy anything that gets in their way.

In the United States alone, around 3,500 people die each year from fires. Every living person probably has personal experiences with the phenomenon, both good and bad. But even if you are as familiar with the fire as we all are, you can still surprise us with its many wonders.

These 10 scientific and cultural facts about the fire will fuel the fire of your mind.

10 Fire without gravity is a sphere

A candle flame in the form of a tear forms on Earth with its constant gravity. It happens because the buoyancy of the air changes depending on the temperature. The lighter, hotter air rises and pulls the colder air behind it. As a result, the flame forms its characteristic shape.

On Earth, by the same process, heavy material sinks to the bottom of a lake and forms sediments. For the same reason, oil rises to the top of the water. However, in the weightlessness of the International Space Station, oil does not separate from water and sediment in the water spreads evenly and does not sink. Likewise, the air heated by a candle flame does not rise, but remains stationary.

Instead of forming a teardrop shape, a candle in outer space forms a fireball. Unlike fires on Earth, there are no visible flames. (They may be there, but they are very small.) Instead, the fire assumes the form of a constant sphere, blue and light.

Unlike fire on Earth, these space fires bring oxygen to them instead of reaching them in flickering directions to find it. The unique characteristics of weightlessness also allow fires to burn much longer at much lower temperatures than on Earth. [1]

A normal candle fire is between 1500 and 2000 Kelvin, but in weightlessness, a The candle can continue to burn at 500 to 800 Kelvin. These "cool" fires produce neither soot, CO 2 nor water. If the effect could be repeated on Earth, this could lead to more fuel-efficient engine starts for automobiles.

9 Forest fires produce their own weather

Uncontrolled forest fires can extend over several million acres. The largest number was recorded in Russia and 47 million acres of land was consumed. When fires reach such colossal proportions, they begin to influence the atmosphere around them. The enormous amount of heat carries the air up in enormous quantities.

"The fire pushes the air upward, and when it moves up, it accelerates the atmospheric instability, just like a building thunderstorm," said meteorologist Evan Duffey. [2]

When this hot air rises, it cools down. In it, water droplets condense, creating clouds and possibly even thunderstorms. A cloud created by a forest fire is called pyrocumulus, and a "firestorm cloud" formed in this way is called pyrocumulonimbus.

Fires caused by fires can benefit firefighting by providing rain, but can also hinder them from attempting to whip up mighty winds that further fuel the fire. Sometimes these strong winds can even be the basis for tornadoes, such as those created by Carr Fire in California in 2018.

8 The deadliest forest fire is relatively unknown

October 1871 was a very unusual bad year for fires in the United States. In Chicago, a fire was blown through the city between October 8 and 10, causing $ 200 million in damage and killing 300 people. It began a period of looting and lawlessness that was so bad that martial law was imposed on the entire area and remained in force for several weeks.

The Great Fire in Chicago attracted great media attention and led to significant economic growth in Chicago during reconstruction. After the fire, fire protection was even a platform on which politicians ran.

However deadly, the Great Chicago Fire was small compared to his big brother. On the same day, October 8, the drought-stricken Wisconsin farmland started a fire that reached an estimated 1.2 million acres.

It was named Peshtigo Fire and named after a nearby town devastated by the flames. The Peshtigo Fire killed an estimated 1,200 to 1,500 people, at least four times as many as that day in the Great Chicago Fire.

"What most researchers find so fascinating," said Debra Anderson, archivist at the University of Wisconsin. The Green Bay Area Research Center "has the impact (the peshtigo fire) on people's lives. It was so terrible. Some people thought it was the end of the world. " [3]

While the Chicago Fire received the most media attention and is easier to remember, the peshtigo fire erased entire cities from the map forever.

7 Fire is art

The painter Steven Spazuk awoke from a dream with the idea of ​​using fire as a tool for art. His first attempt to put this idea into action turned his canvas into a crispy bowl, but he did not give up. He experimented with many unusual types of paintbrushes and eventually found the perfect paint and sealer for his delicate creations. Eventually his dream became reality: smoke or fire.

Spazuk begins his art by applying soot to a white cardboard screen with a flame. He says, "The flame always responds to the air displacement, so I can not control it, but I can run my lighter and the flame to more or less produce the shape I want to create, sometimes I just let the flame die Work and create these magical shapes. " [4]

The resulting soot is then shaped into a picture.The final shape is based on the patterns of the flame, and Spazuk uses a variety of unorthodox brushes and frayed ropes are in his toolbox, and he even made a hairbrush that his wife lost to chemotherapy, and used this brush to paint her portrait.

Spazuk said of his chosen medium:

Fire is a great metaphor for humans, like fire we are capable of great power, warmth and energy, but also of destruction. [ . . . ] Drawing with fire begins infinite moments and makes me happy. The flame itself is a symbol of history – an untamed and unpredictable medium that has fascinated man for centuries. The process is fascinating! Every flare of a flame or a hairbrush has a different story.

6 Fire is the focus of Zoroastrian worship

More than 100,000-200,000 practitioners of Zoroastrianism are spread worldwide, including Iran and India. For them, fire represents a person's spiritual qualities: order, benevolence, honesty, fairness and justice. Together these are referred to as asha .

During the prayer, the faithful pray in front of a light source. This may be the sun, a wood fire, an oil lantern, or even one of the eternal fires that are kept in their places of worship (called fire temples).

These fires are fueled with pure fuel to symbolize the asha in one person. Just as an individual is morally good, when they think about positive things, the fire stays pure even when fed with clean and pure fuel.

In Zoroastrianism, there are five types of fire throughout creation. These can be found in lifeless matter, living bodies, plants, clouds, and flames and are all remains of the original fire that the Zoroaster believe has created the universe.

Although fire plays a central role in their religion, they do not worship the fire itself, as is commonly believed. Rather, fire is a tool and a symbol that God uses to create and sustain the universe and all his life. [5]

5 Fire is not just orange

Most common fires like campfires burn between 590-1,200 degrees Celsius (1,100-2,200 ° F). This temperature leads to an orange flame. At this temperature some carbon escapes from the fuel of the fire without being burnt. These trace elements mingle with the fire and shine through its light and make the fire glow yellow or orange.

However, this changes when the temperature of a fire increases. At 1260 to 1650 degrees Celsius, the fire is hot enough to consume all the carbon. Since there are no surviving carbon particles that could alter the color, these hotter fires (like those produced by a propane stove) burn a brilliant light blue.

But carbon is not the only type of chemical or compound that can end up in a fire. When a fuel source with small amounts of copper is burned, these copper particles enter the fire and produce green light in the same way as carbon particles of orange. [6]

Lithium chloride produces a pink flame, strontium chloride red and potassium chloride purple. A rainbow of colors is possible depending on the type of fuel burnt.

4 Fires can be launched with ice

Fire and ice are usually polar opposites – and with good reason. In a spectrum, few things can be as far apart as fire and ice in terms of temperature, but enterprising survivalists have come up with ways to make one another.

As unlikely as it may seem, ice could be the key to staying warm when stranded in winter. The method requires the use of a knife to cut out a roughly circular piece of ice. Then this disc is further polished using the heat of human hands. Finally, a lens can be formed – like a magnifying glass.

At this point, the ice lense can be used to focus sunlight into a narrow stream that heats up dry scale and lures it into a fire. This method takes a lot of time and finesse. If you are stranded in winter, one of your most common and unlikely fire-triggering resources will be used. [7]

3 The eucalyptus tree loves fire

Every year, an average of 67,000 forest fires rage around the world and they consume around seven million acres of land. Few things are spared, and entire ecosystems, including entire forests, can be destroyed in the flame.

Fire is one of the most powerful natural enemies of a forest. However, there is a tree that not only easily survives fires, but actively promotes fires. The eucalyptus tree of Australia, which depending on the species is between 18 and 55 meters high, is destined for fire.

The fallen leaves form a perfect flammable blanket, and the bark dissolves into long strips reaching the ground. This allows the fire to rise into the branches.

Crown fires that penetrate the canopy and burn branches and leaves are widespread. The oil of a eucalyptus tree, known for its fragrant odor, is also easily flammable and has earned the nickname "gasoline tree".

But why should a tree be designed to cause the fire to burn? Their seed pods are perfect for breaking up in a fire, and the seeds quickly grow in ash-rich soil after a fire.

"Give a Hang a really good torch, and the eucalyptus will absolutely dominate," said David Bowman, a Forest Ecologist from the University of Tasmania. "They will grow intensely in the first years of life and surpass everything." [8]

The fire love of the eucalyptus tree gave cause for great concern in Australia The tree has produced many powerful fires. But the eucalyptus tree was imported into every inhabited continent, and now its fire-loving paths spread the danger elsewhere.

"What the hell did the humans do?" Asked Bowman. "We have spread a dangerous plant around the world."

2 Flamethrowers have been around since antiquity

Gunfire has a long history of warfare. The use of intentional fires against enemies is at least 3500 BC. Back. The peoples of northern and southern Mesopotamia had come into conflict, and a settlement was intentionally burned down (and bombarded with slingshot missiles).

However, sophisticated use of fire is not a matter of course in warfare until its introduction. Www.germnews.de/archive/gn/1999/11/16.html In. During the reign of the Byzantine emperor Constantine IV around 668-685 AD, a Greek – speaking inventor named Callinicus of Heliopolis designed what later became known as "Greek Fire "became known defense of the Byzantine Empire for hundreds of years.

In fact, it was one of three things that Emperor Romanos II, who ruled from 959-963 as the Grand Emperor, declared necessary. It must never be allowed to end up in foreign hands. (The other two were Byzantine and a royal princess.)

Originally, Greek fire was used primarily in navel combat to burn enemy ships, as the terrain could not be cleared with water. In fact, it should burn particularly well against water. Eventually, it was also used in portable pump sieges that could be used against both a city and a city defense.

Liutprand of Cremona, a diplomat and historian who was alive during the exploitation of the Greek fire, described it as: "The Greeks began to throw their fire everywhere; and the rusii who saw the flames hastily threw themselves from their ships, preferring to drown in the water instead of being burnt alive in the fire. " [9]

1 Fire Is Used as Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine is a huge industry, with a value of around $ 84 billion from 2012 onwards. Tactics such as acupuncture and suction cups as well as unusual ingredients such as caterpillar fungus and dried gecko are used. However, one method of treatment has recently gained increasing attention: the "fire therapy".

It is supposed to treat many chronic diseases. Allegedly it reduces wrinkles and restores youthful energy. It is based on Chinese folklore, which states that good health is a result of the balance between the "hot" and "cold" elements present in the human body.

The treatment involves the use of a herbal paste, an alcohol-soaked towel and a lighter to trigger a controlled fire at important pressure points on the human body. Zhang Fenghao, one of China's best-known fire therapists, said, "Medicine needs a revolution. The fire therapy for the world is the solution. " [10]

So far, the fire therapy has neither the certification of medical journals nor empirical evidence to prove the alleged health benefits. It is also dangerous.

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