Turkmenistan’s Fire Pit in Known as Gates of Hell Has Been Burning for Over 50 Years
Turkmenistan hell pit So what filled this crater with fire and how did it end up in the desert? For these answers, we need to look back at the history of Turkmenistan.
In 1971, when the country was part of the Soviet Union, Soviet engineers came to the desert in search of oil fields. A rig was installed to check the quality of oil in the area, but they quickly realized that they had not drilled oil at all. Instead, their heavy installation was located on top of a large pocket of natural gas that could not support such a huge weight, and soon collapsed.
The entire camp crashed into a giant bowl-shaped cavity called the Darvaz Crater. Measuring 230 feet wide and 65 feet deep, it is huge, and scientists soon had a real problem.
Not only did the collapse have a ripple effect that triggered the discovery of other craters, but natural gas quickly left. Since natural gas is mainly produced from methane, which absorbs oxygen and makes breathing difficult, a real concern has arisen not only for wildlife, but also for people living in the neighboring village of Derveze. In fact, these fears were justified, because soon after the collapse, the animals in the desert began to die.
It was then that scientists got down to business and decided to burn gas, since natural gas cannot be trapped. They expected the process to take several weeks, but they were mistaken – since then the flame has burned. In fact, scientists still do not understand how much natural gas the fire feeds.
Now Darvaz Crater attracts hundreds of tourists a year who come to see the strange and ominous appearance of the phenomenon. In 2010, Turkmenistan’s president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, visited the crater and said that it should be closed up. And in 2013 he declared the part of the desert containing the crater a natural reserve.
However, as of today, the Turkmenistan Hell Pit Burning For 50 Yearsstill burn brightly and at night its wicked orange glow can be seen for miles.
In the 1970s, a giant crater opened up in the Turkmenistan desert after an oil rig collapsed.
The rig sat on a pocket of natural gas, which began escaping and endangered local wildlife.
So authorities decided to burn off the gas, thinking it would last a few weeks.
Instead, the “Gates of Hell” has been burning for over 50 years and now hundreds flock annually to see the unusual site.