Kuwait’s 1990 Oil Fires.. A World Record!

I’ve always known Kuwait’s 1990 oil fires were huge. But never knew they held an official world record! Stumbled upon it on the Guinness World Records website: The largest oil spill in the world!

The Kuwaiti oil fires were started in January 1991 by retreating Iraqi armed forces as part of a scorched earth policy during the Gulf War. Almost 700 oil wells were set alight, with the last fire being extinguished in November 1991. An estimated total of 1-1.5 billion barrels of oil were lost. The oil which leaked but did not burn formed around 300 oil lakes in the desert which congealed to a hard surface known as ‘tarcrete’ which, combined, covered around 5% of the total area of Kuwait. link

Let’s be thankful this is the only sad record held by my beloved Kuwait. There are 12 others. Plus the world’s biggest fireworks which was not added to the Guinness website yet. Making a total of 14 records for Kuwait. Some of them are pretty lame though. Check all of Kuwait’s Guinness Records here

Photo is by Steve McCurry, featured him here before (link)


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