This Hellish Crater Has Been On Fire For Almost 50 Years
If you are not an overt “National Geographic” buff, your first thoughts about this scene might have been those of disbelief. Or you might just have waved if off, believing it is something produced in an video-effects studio.
However, this is more than real. It is a crater of fire in Darvaza, the heart of the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan. The locals know it as the ‘Door of Hell’.
It is not a product of a natural geological or astrological event, not like the Etna Crater, but is purely man made. In the 1970’s, Soviet geologists were sent in Karakum in search of ground oil sources. They came across a crater and thought it was an excellent place to probe. But very soon after they started drilling, the rig collapsed, leaving a 70 meter diameter hellish looking crater as a result.
In fear that the hole presents a danger because of the obvious poisonous gases emissions, the engineers came up with a brilliant idea. They, believe it or not, decided to set it on fire! They estimated that the amount of gas it contained would use all its fuel and get extinguished in a reasonably short while. Alas, how they miscalculated! The hole has been burning for almost 50 years now, bright as ever until this day! This 98-foot-deep fiery inferno would have been one of the largest natural gas reserves in the world.
Despite the outlandish look and the risks it threatens with, the crater is not fenced off and you can stare right in the ‘Door of Hell’.
The question is, would you dare?