IN the neighborhood of Baku, on the Caspian Sea, there is a phenomenon of a very extraordinary nature, called the everlasting fire, to which a sect of Indians and Persians, called Giaours, pay religious worship. It is situated about ten miles from the city of Baku, in the province of Shirven, on a dry, rocky piece of ground.

On it there are several ancient temples of stone, supposed to be dedicated to the fire, there being one among them in which fire worship is now carried on. Near the altar is a large hollow cone, from the end of which issues a blue flame. The worshipers affirm that this flame has continued ever since the deluge, and they believe if it were suppressed in that place it would break out in another.

At a short distance from this temple there is a horizontal gap two feet from the ground, about six feet long and three broad, out of which comes a constant flame, of the color of that in the temple. When there is a strong wind it rises to the height of eight feet, but is much lower in calm weather.

The earth around for more than two miles has this extraordinary property, that by taking up two or three inches of the surface and applying a lighted lamp, the part uncovered immediately takes fire, even before the flame touches it. The flame makes the soil hot, but does not consume it, nor affect what is near with any degree of heat.

It is said that eight horses were once consumed by this fire under a roof where the surface of the ground had been turned up, and by some accident had ignited. If a cane, or tube, of paper be set about two inches into the ground, and closed with earth below, and the top of it touched with a live coal, a flame will immediately issue forth without consuming the tube, provided the edges be covered with clay. Three or four lighted canes will boil water in a pot, and are sometimes used to cook victuals. 

The flames have a sulphurous smell, but are inoffensive. 

S. S. Classmate.