Mind-Boggling Shots of the Ocean on Fire From a Gas Leak

An underwater gas leak in the Gulf of Mexico led to viral imagery this week of the sea on fire. The mind-boggling shots show firefighting vessels spraying water to put out the sea.

Early Friday morning at around 5 a.m., an underwater pipeline ruptured and caught fire, causing a giant ring of flames West of the Yucatan Peninsula about 150 yards from a Pemex oil platform, according to Pemex (Mexico’s state-owned petroleum company).

Authorities say that company responders were able to fully put out the fire in about 5 hours by both spraying water and using nitrogen.

Footage of the fire (which looked like lava) quickly went viral on social media, where people referred to it as an “eye of fire” and “portal to hell.”

Here’s a sampling of the hot takes that followed:

“Never in your life forget the time humans caught the ocean on fire and then tried to put it out by spraying water on it,” Tweeted podcaster Dave Anthony.

“Pemex said no injuries were reported, and production from the project was not affected after the gas leak ignited around 5:15 a.m. local time,” Reuters reports. “It was completely extinguished by 10:30 a.m. Pemex, which has a long record of major industrial accidents at its facilities, added it also shut the valves of the 12-inch-diameter pipeline.”

Mexican oil safety regulator Angel Carrizales of the ASEA took to social media to state that the leak didn’t result in any kind of spill into the Gulf of Mexico, though exactly what caught fire remains unclear. Pemex says it has launched an internal investigation to determine the cause of the blaze.