Will This Fire Ever Die Out?
Turkmenistan has a burning crater in the middle of an almost empty landscape. Locals call it the Gate of Hell. It has been burning for 45 years. This burning crater is the town’s main source of income. In the past five years, 50,000 people have visited the site.
What Is The Door To Hell?
The Door to Hell is also called the Gate to Hell, the Crater of Fire, and Darvaza Center. It was discovered by Soviet engineers in 1971 and was thought to be an oil field.
The Door to Hell is a large crater that used to be a natural gas field in Darwaza, Turkmenistan.
It was named by the locals due to the flames and boiling mud in the crater. It was set on fire in 1971 and has been burning ever since.
The Door to Hell has a total area of 5,350 m2 ; the size of an American football field.
Who Set It On Fire?
The Door to Hell was a Soviet oil field. They set up a drilling rig and began to measure the amount of oil on the site. Soon after they found a natural gas pocket, the ground collapsed, taking the camp, drilling rig, and other equipment with it.
Soviet petrochemical students lit it on fire to prevent the leakage of harmful gases to the surrounding environment. This is a normal process called flaring. It is used to get rid of excess gas, which unlike oil, must be processed immediately.
They thought that it would burn out in a week or a few weeks at most. 45 years later, it is still burning.
In the neighboring towns, locals share rumors about how the fire first started. One rumor is that a farmer was tired of the gases killing his sheep so he lit a tire on fire and threw it in the crater.
Will It Burn Forever?
The fire that started 45 years ago is still burning without a sign of giving in.
In April 2010, the president visited the crater and ordered local authorities to look for a way to put it out. He doesn’t want this burning to hinder the country’s ability to develop other natural gas fields nearby.
So far, no action has been taken. The door to hell won’t be closed by officials.
If people aren’t extinguishing the fire, how long will it last?
Scientists don’t know how much gas is feeding the fire in the Door to Hell. Therefore, they can’t tell how many years this crater will continue to burn.