The Door to Hell

The burning gas has been lighting up the night with its red hot flames for over 40 years now. People passing by the giant hole reported sensing a “hell-like” smell.

Credit: Flickr.com

Credit: Flickr.com

A video showing a strange crater is circulating on the Internet. The Derweza crater situated in Karakum, Turkmenistan was discovered in 1971, when the earth collapsed underneath an oil rig. In that location a hole appeared that is about 70 m in diameter and 20 m in depth. The crater is not as big as the world’s largest wound, but it is formidable enough to attract hordes of visitors.

According to information published in Amusing Planet, natural gas started escaping in large quantities from the crater, and Soviet geologists decided to set it on fire. They were hoping that this way the gas will be used up in a few days, and the environment will be freed from harmful substances. They were wrong: the fire has been burning incessantly for the past 42 years, and it doesn’t seem that it’s ready to die out.

According to tourists’ reports, there is a “smell of hell” around the crater; this smell is probably due to the methane content of the burning gas. The crater got its name after the flames and the smell: people living nearby call it “the gates of hell”.

Because of the danger posed on exploiting natural gas, Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, the president of Turkmenistan ordered the closing of the crater in 2010; up to this day, this hasn’t happened.

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