Chinese Villages Use Giant Balloons to Steal Natural Gas

What would you do for simple gas to cook, or heat your home during the winter? Would you be willing to fill a giant bag full with natural gas and carry it into your home, at the risk of, well, exploding? Because that's what villagers in the Shandong Province of China are doing.

The villagers come to the oil extraction facility to fill the massive gas bags because they're too poor to afford other means of heating and cooking gas, and they aren't allowed to connect lines to the oil field. So instead they carry around the giant bags of explosion. According to people who live in the area, they last for about five days before they have to be refilled.

There haven't been any reports of the bags exploding, though one elderly woman was lifted in the air when the wind caught hold of her bag. But other villages with makeshift gas-acquiring techniques haven't been so lucky, like one that had an explosion after a power outage to the main oil line. It's all terribly insane, of course, but also kind of ingenious. [NetEase via ChinaSMACK via MicGadget]