Gateway to Hell. Turkmenistan
Nature creates wonderful things – beautiful, unique, inexplicable… But this place evokes fear and goosebumps. It is located in Turkmenistan, in the town of Darvaza. It is an unbelievable crater bursting with fire which is called Gateway to Hell. Its diameter is 60 meters and depth – 20.
Such a phenomenon was discovered by Soviet geologists in 1971. This happened during the research works when the geological expedition completely lost all of its drilling equipment and transportation. So, it accidentally stumbled upon a cavern, which absorbed all the mechanisms. Thus, a large hole filled with gas was formed in the place where the land crumbled. People were not injured during the incident.
Geologists decided to burn harmful to humans and animals gases, in order not to let them go outside. They suggested that the fire was able to be extinguished in a few days, natural gas reserves could run out and the torch would disappear. But they were mistaken. Since 1971, the natural gas coming from the crater burns permanently day and night.
After more than 40 years the crater still attracts crowds of thrill-seekers. It’s really creepy to stand close to it. This frightening crater located in the middle of the desert really looks like the entrance to hell. Its flame rises on several meters in height, so you need to be very careful and not to go near the edge. At night this glowing crater looks particularly ominous.
If you want to come here and get a sheer pleasure from this light show, it is better to come to the Gate before sunset. Only in darkness you will feel all the charm of this phenomenon. Powerful exhausts of gas at various intervals throw huge red and blue flames several meters up creating the illusion of something unreal, otherworldly.
Decisions on the development of science-based measures to eliminate this natural anomaly were accepted repeatedly and at the highest level, but the crater still exists and is a popular attraction of the area.