The Door To Hell

This place in Turkmenistan is called by locals “The Door to Hell”. It is situated near the small town of Derweze. The story of this place lasts already for 35 years. Once the geologists were drilling for gas. Then suddenly during the drilling they have found an underground cavern, it was so big that all the drilling site with all the equipment and camps got deep deep under the ground. None dared to go down there because the cavern was filled with gas. So they ignited it so that no poisonous gas could come out of the hole, and since then, it’s burning, already for 35 years without any pause. Nobody knows how many tons of excellent gas has been burned for all those years but it just seems to be infinite there.

The Door to Hell is a natural gas field in Derweze (also spelled Darvaze, meaning “gate”), Ahal Province, Turkmenistan. The Door to Hell is noted for its natural gas fire which has been burning continuously since it was lit by Soviet petroleum engineers in 1971.The fire is fed by the rich natural gas deposits in the area. The pungent smell of burning sulfur pervades the area for some distance.

The field is situated near the Derweze village. It is in the middle of the Karakum Desert, about 260 kilometres (160 mi) north of Ashgabat. The gas reserve found here is one of the largest in the world. The name “Door to Hell” was given to the field by the locals, referring to the fire, boiling mud, and orange flames in the large crater, which has a diameter of 70 metres (230 ft). The hot spots range over an area with a width of 60 metres (200 ft) and to a depth of about 20 metres (66 ft).

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