Some residents in southern California are experiencing putrid smells and strange sights as a huge mass of sludge slowly creeps through their towns. This gem provided by mother nature is called The Niland Geyser, and it’s quite an eerie phenomenon. The geyser is gigantic in mass, but even stranger is the nauseating odor that it emits. Onlookers claim that it reminds them of rotten eggs. But that’s just one inconvenient element of the geyser. It’s moving a LOT quicker this year than it has in the past decade.
The history of The Niland Geyser
The Niland Geyser is located on the south side of San Andreas fault and has been there since 1953. Researchers have monitored its eruptions and movements for 11 years. In 2018, the slow, creeping motion began to speed up relatively rapidly.
Previous attempts have been made to stop or slow the geyser. One effort included draining and redirecting the sludge. A more intensive attempt as also tried- a 100-foot steel wall was built underground. The unfinished pieces were pulled into the liquid and swallowed whole.
The measurements of a mammoth
Those viewing the geyser are in for quite a jaw-dropping experience. This massive monster is 24,000 square feet large, 18-feet deep, and 23-feet wide. The movement of the sludge at the beginning of this year was about 60 feet a month. Now, some records show movements of 60 feet in a single day!
Thankfully, the quickened pace is not an indication of an earthquake. However, that isn’t the only danger possible. The geyser is quickly moving in on a line of fiber optic cables, a petroleum pipeline, a railroad track, and a portion of Highway 111.
Nature versus humans
Although these measurements are extremely significant, the pace is not especially visible. The slinking sludge is still moving slower than a small garden snail. But with many important obstacles ahead, the geyser could cause some serious chaos.
The California Department of Transportation is tentatively planning to shut down sections of Highway 111 as the geyser makes its way closer and closer to the road. The railroad company is considering a possible bridge that could be built to bypass the geyser altogether. For now, all we can do is wait and see.