Prepare to be terrified: Natural gas drilling is so widespread now you can see it from space. SkyTruth has a pretty haunting visualization tool made out of NOAA satellite imagery that shows nightly gas flares sparkling across the globe. In the U.S., it’s possible that over 40 percent of those flares come from fracking wells.

Zoom in to check out all the flames shooting out of North Dakota; pan out and watch orange lights shimmer across the Middle East and Russia. A toggle bar on the right lets you see what happens in a single night or a whole month.

Flaring isn’t just a pretty sight, though; its a nasty byproduct of the natural gas industry. It’s also a colossal waste of energy. From SkyTruth:

In North Dakota alone they burn off enough natural gas every day to heat 100,000 homes and globally the practice adds as much CO2 to the atmosphere every year as 77 million automobiles.

It’s kind of beautiful … if it weren’t so ominous.

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