Carl Rustung

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Molten rock rivers

From 1913 until the 1960s, residents of West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, parked their cars along an embankment to watch trains pulling enormous cars with massive cauldrons full of molten rock. In some cases dozens of cauldrons were emptied at once, pouring their molten rock down the side of the hill in eerily beautiful rivers. Observers said they looked like symmetrical rivers of fire and lit the sky red.