Gas leak and lightning bolt set the ocean on fire in the Gulf of Mexico

One of the most unusual environmental disasters of the century took place last weekend when the ocean was set on fire.

Eye of fire
© @blkhan/TWITTER
Eye of fire

On Friday, a huge fire erupted in the middle of the ocean 150 yards away from an oil drilling platform owned by Pemex oil—a Mexican oil company. The fire was raging for five hours in the Gulf of Mexico before it was finally extinguished by fire control boats.

Discover our latest podcast

It was not long before everyone got to see the catastrophe on the internet and the apocalypticimages shocked the entire world. Pemex oil finally addressed the issue yesterday and disclosed what really went down that unfortunate day.

A gas leak

The company said that they had shut down pumping stations that were serving an offshore drilling rig after a huge storm hit their Ku-Maloob-Zaap field that was located west of the Yucatan peninsula on 2 July. What they didn’t know was that there was a leak in an underwater pipeline through which natural gas was spilling out onto the ocean floor. When the gas rose to the surface, it was then set ablaze by a lightning bolt at around 5:15 am. Pemex reported that they sent three fire control boats to douse the flames and they had successfully managed to control the fire and the gas leak five hours later. Luckily, no human was injured in the process but the environmental impact has yet to be assessed.

Pemex has said that they are currently investigating the incident and repairing the pumps.

Eye of fire

Meanwhile the internet has been going berserk after aerial footage of the incident was released on social media. The fire was even named the ‘eye of fire’ because of its circular shape. Many users began using the images for memes like this:

But most were outraged by the incident, and specifically concerned about the damages oil drilling practices have on the environment.

The Earth Is Gradually Swallowing Its Own Oceans The Earth Is Gradually Swallowing Its Own Oceans