Guinness World Records - Officially Amazing

Next RecordPrevious Record
 

For the record

  • Who: The Kuwaiti oil fires

  • What: Largest oil spill

  • Where: Kuwait

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.

 

Records change on a daily basis and are not immediately published online. For the most up to date record information, we welcome your questions via Facebook or Twitter.

Comments below may relate to previous holders of this record.