Written by E L Grace, CNN
The use of fire in warfare is ancient; wildfire is more modern. That combination — that fire and that destruction — have shaped the ecology of the ancient world, the landscape that we know today.
Now we know that the same fire-loving fungus is growing in an unexpected place: the interior of a coal mine.
Be that as it may, it seems entirely appropriate to consider this as a way of celebrating the life and legacy of Madeleine Maugham.
Maugham, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” playwright, poet, novelist
Madeleine Maugham, a one-time adventurer for the World’s first expedition to the South Pole
Her fascination with fire and natural elements is no small thing, but we can’t forget that a love of wildfire is just the result of an already strong connection to the natural world. Perhaps, this project has started a series of new connections between fire and fire-loving fungi, and perhaps we may see more biomimicry projects on the horizon.
Whatever the outcome, we feel that we have just begun to scratch the surface when it comes to the science of fire.
The Goadweiler coal mine in Burkina Faso, continues the beneficial natural cycle of weather that has allowed natural fire to continue to flourish in the mine’s interior.
The molten side of coal is awaiting to be removed by the various flumes, and is soaked overnight by acid rain, diluted with lime, to form maitreloide and anthracnose. If the land were not suitable for mining, fire would need to become the fuel of choice for the next fire-loving fungus.