Turpan: The Flaming Mountain and the Grape Valley

In the famous Chinese novel "Journey to the West," the Monkey King knocked over a kiln in heaven. The embers fell down and lit a mountain on the earth, leaving the fire to burn for hundreds of years.

The Flaming Mountain does exist. It is found in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

It is not really "on fire." However, the highest ground temperature recorded was a stunning 89 degrees Celsius. Compared to other places with pleasant climates on the 42nd parallel north, this is the exception.

Sitting in the middle of the Turpan Basin, which is the lowest point of the Chinese mainland, the height difference between the Flaming Mountain and the surrounding mountains is more than 5,000 meters, making almost impossible for the hot air to disperse.

Therefore, people are tricked by their senses into feeling the flames.

Not far from the "burning" mountain is a canyon shaded as grapes, called the Grape Valley.

Famous across the country, the grapes are a local specialty of Turpan. With only eight kilometers in length from north to south, its annual output of grapes can exceed 10 million kilograms.

After harvest, people store the grapes in the shade houses with porous walls, leaving the rest to the hot winds from the Flaming Mountain. In 40 days, sweet raisins are ready to serve.

(Cover image a screenshot from the video)

(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at nature@cgtn.com.)