Darvaza: The Door to Hell

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gate_to_hell_1.jpg According to Wikipedia "In 1971, while drilling for natural gas in Darvaza, Turkmenistan, the ground on which the drilling rig was placed collapsed, leaving a large gaping hole exposed with a diameter of around 60 meters. To avoid poisonous gases coming out of the hole, it was decided to let the gases burn. As of 2008, gases in the underground cavern are still burning without interruption. Locals have named the cavern The Door to Hell."

We've seen other reports saying it was from Soviet drilling in the 1950's. Either way someone decided to burn it and it's been burning for a long time.

gate_to_hell_2.jpg gate_to_hell_3.jpg gate_to_hell_4.jpg gate_to_hell_5.jpg gate_to_hell_6.jpg gate_to_hell_7.jpg gate_to_hell_8.jpg gate_to_hell_9.jpg gate_to_hell_10.jpg Accidents like this exist all around the world but none with such beauty. Others, like the 2006 gas/mud slide in East Java, Indonesia which I actually visited myself, have caused much more damage and killed many people.

You can actually visit this today as part of a tour. But don't expect a hotel it's camels and camping all the way.

Here's some videos of the crater.

You can even see this on satellite photos. Although this time it looks like Yahoo! maps has the best verison.

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Definetly going to have to add this to our list of places to visit. If you want to learn more about Turkmenistan then visit the CIA factbook or Wikipedia.

Source: 1, 2, 3
Photos by John H Bradley