The Door to Hell: Flaming Crater in Turkmenistan Has Been Burning for 38 Years
The year is 1971 in a small village called Darvaza (or Derweze) about 260 km north of the capital Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Back then it was part of the Soviet Union and the area was (and still is) quite resource-rich. One day, amidst the drilling and vodka, geologists accidentally punched into a massive underground natural gas cavern. This led to the ground collapsing, the entire drilling rig falling in, and a subsequent crater 300+ feet wide (90+ meters) and 65+ feet deep (20+ meters).
And what was the solution to curbing the raging emissions of natural gas? BURN IT. And so it has for the last 38 years. Fin
A little background on the country of Turkmenistan:
– After 69 years as part of the Soviet Union (including 67 years as a union republic), Turkmenistan declared its independence on 27 October 1991
– With a population just over 5 million, over 80% of the country is covered by the Karakum Desert
– Half of the country’s irrigated land is planted with cotton, making it the world’s tenth-largest producer. It also possesses the world’s fifth-largest reserves of natural gas and substantial oil resources
– In 2004, the unemployment rate was estimated to be 60%, their GDP per capita is rougly $5,710, and is among the twenty countries in the world with the highest perceived level of corruption
In Soviet Russia, Crater flames you!
All images courtesy of John Bradley. You can find the originals HERE
This crater is not be confused with the Flaming Homer. I mean Moe.
Thanks to Tonewise for letting me know about the Door to Hell