Alright, so I don’t know if this is interesting to any of you, but I think it’s pretty cool. Did you know there’s a place on earth called “The Door to Hell”? Well, now you do. It’s in Turkmenistan, close to a small village called Darvaza (or Derweze) in the middle of the Kara-Kum desert, and it’s actually a huge, burning hole with a diameter of 50-100 meters.
Quite cool, eh?
You might wonder how there came to be a big, burning hole in the middle of the desert? Well, back in 1971, when Turkmenistan was still a part of Soviet Russia (Now sovereign since 1991) when they were drilling for gas they discovered a big underground chamber filled with natural gas, and the volume of the chamber and the weight of the drilling rig caused the ground to collapse and drag the rig down underground. In order to not let the massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere someone came up with the idea to set the gas on fire. And they believed that the hole would only burn for a couple of days, maybe a week.
But, ladies and gentlemen, this hole is still burning. And no one can estimate how much gas there still is.
Though in April 2010 Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow (the president of Turkmenistan) visited the place and ordered that the hole should be closed, or that something else should be done in order to not have the fire influence other drill rigs in the area, as Turkmenistan plans to increase it’s production of natural gas.
I’d love to go see this place in person, but going to Turkmenistan might be a little tough on my wallet, and as it might be closed soon by order of the president it might already be a little late to plan such a trip. Well, it’s still a rather awesome thing though.