Door to Hell in Turkmenistan

As the sun stops glooming and darkness takes its toll, the flames start to dance eventually licking the air and casting a portentous glow that is visible from miles around in the Karakum Desert, Turkmenistan. All this light and heat is sourced from a massive crater, in which an irrepressible inferno keeps blazing. “Door to Hell”, as it is called by the locals, is a pit that has been on fire since decades. Photo By: flydime

The Karakum Desert is definitely not one of the best holiday destinations, but the place undeniably has one of the world’s most unique attractions – the Derweze (also known as Darvaza). Better known as the Door to Hell, the giant crater has been burning since 40 years and is fed by a seemingly unceasing source of natural gas. Located around 260 km north of Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, the Door to Hell is one of the most incredible wonders in the world. Astonishingly, this gasping chasm has been cast open by the mortal man. Photo By: flydime

Turkmenistan has abundant natural resources. In fact, the country has some of the largest gas reserves in the world. It was in 1971 when some geological activity was being carried out in the Karakum Desert. The activity also involved drilling the earth. Accidentally, the earth below the rig collapsed, forming a giant crater that is about 70 m in diameter. Since natural gas is poisonous nature, it was decided that rather than releasing it in the atmosphere, the gas will be allowed to burn. It was hoped that within a few years, all the natural gas would burn off but it has been 40 years since Darvaza natural gas crater has been burning. Photo By: flydime

Derweze literally means ‘The Gate’ in Turkmen. Coexistence of a natural gas crater with this place has set alight the endless fire. The place has also drawn a lot of attention because of the rising apocalyptical vision. Far from being in complete isolation, human settlement in the form of the nomad village of Derweze is present nearby. Derweze village contains around 350 semi-nomadic members that belong to Teke tribe. These villages are very well known for their horses. In fact, the Akhal-Teke breed is the hardiest and one of the oldest in the world. The village is located in the middle of the Karakum desert. Photo By: ryan_roxx

The Karakum Desert lies towards the south of the Aral Sea and the east of Caspian Sea. The desert is sparsely inhabited but it encompasses around 70% off contemporary Turkmenistan. The area has some of the largest proven gas reserves. However, the place has also been attracting a lot of interest because of the mineral resources it has. Photo By: pav21

Tourists who visit Darvaza agree with its name – Door to Hell and find it appropriate. Looking inside the burning natural gas crater, one can definitely get a feel of what actual door to hell would look like (if at all it exists). No one has ever dared to enter the chamber. After all, no one would voluntarily embark on the path that leads to hell. Watching the most remarkable disaster is certainly an experience that is incomparable. And with Turkmenistan’s gas supply seeming inexhaustible, the Door to Hell’s future is dazzling. Photo By: flydime

Leave a Comment

Powered by WordPress | Deadline Theme : An AWESEM design