Entrance to Hell
December 27, 2012 in Weird News
Door to Hell, Turkmenistan
Geologists were drilling in the Karakum Desert in 1971 when their rig suddenly fell through the earth and plummeted into a 300-foot-wide cavern filled with natural gas.
Deciding it was safer to burn off the methane than to allow it to seep into the nearby village, they lit it, expecting the fire to last a few weeks; 40 years later the flames are still burning brightly.
At night, locals say, the scene resembles fire and brimstone of biblical proportions—hence the name.
“The Door to Hell” is more than fiction, it’s a giant flaming hole in the middle of the Karakum Desert that has been burning for 40 years.
The long burning crater is located in the middle of the Karakum Desert in Derweze, Turkmenistan.
AOL Travel News notes the flaming hole started out as a crater that was created in 1971 when Soviet geologists drilling at the site tapped into a natural gas-filled cavern.
The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving the giant 70 meter diameter hole in the middle of the Karakum Desert. Fearing that toxic methane gases being released from the massive crater would harm the residents of nearby Derweze, the team of geologists decided to set the natural gas-filled hole on fire.
According to the Daily Mail, the geologists had hoped that the flaming hole would burn out within a few days, however, 40 years later, “The Door to Hell” as it has now come to be known, still burns as strong as ever. The burning crater creates a glow that can be seen for miles around Derweze.
Dogo News points out that in April of 2010, the president of Turkmenistan visited the site and ordered that it be covered up and shut. So far it has not happened, but is still a possibility in the near future.
Visitors coming to see “The Door to Hell” can only spend about 5 minutes on average around the site because of the hazardous methane gas the flaming hole produces.
It is such a unique sight that many people journey to see the burning crater in the middle of the Karakum Desert.
Would you make the trip to Turkmenistan to see the Door to Hell?