Turkmenistan’s Door to Hell
Turkmenistan is a country in Asia that borders with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Iran. Most of the country is covered by the Karakum (Black Sand) Desert, and underneath there is one of the largest reserves of natural gas resources in the world. But Turkmenistan also has one other thing. If you are looking for a way to get to hell, you should visit the 350-person village of Derweze on Karakum Desert, where you can find the Door to Hell.
In 1971, Soviet engineers conducted drillings on a substantial oil field site. They found the gas resources and started to store it, but the ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed into a wide crater and swallowed up all the equipment.
The large crateer started to emit poisonous methane in quite large quantities. In order to neutralize it, the engineers decided to burn the gas off.
They thought it would be safer and cheaper to burn the gas than to extract it through expensive methods.
They expected that the gas would burn out within a few weeks and they go back to explore the area once again to find the oil.
But the calculations were wrong. It’s been over 40 years and the methane is still burning. And no one knows when it finally burns out.
In April 2010, the president of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, visited the site and ordered that the hole should be closed, but to this day nothing happened.