Nobody is sure how the coal seam beneath the exterior of Australia’s Burning Mountain, also known as Mount Wingen (“fire” in an aboriginal language), originally ignited. But a coal seam 90 feet below the surface been burning for an estimated 5,500 years, making it the longest continuous fire on the planet.

Ancient people actually used heat from rocky vents in the mountain to cook food and make tools. When an Australian settler found the mountain in 1828, he assumed that he’d discovered a volcano.

via World’s Oldest Fire Has Been Burning for 5,500 Years : Discovery News.