“The Door to Hell”

The Door to Hell

The gates of hell, door to hell, or crater of fire is one of Earth’s most intriguing locations. In Derweze, Turkmenistan lies a huge natural gas field. What is so fascinating about a natural gas field? The fact that it has been steadily burning for over forty years now.It has been said that this is one of the creepiest places on Earth. This anomaly was actually a scientific mistake.

In the 1971 the site was discovered by Soviet engineers. It was thought that this site was a massive oil field.  So of course drilling took place but come to surprise as the drilling continue the site collapsed as result of drilling into the natural gas pocket found. A huge two hundred thirty foot in diameter and sixty six feet deep crater was made engulfing the drilling camp. The engineers once realized that it was natural gas fear that the toxic fumes from the gas would harm nearby town and so it was thought best to set the gas on fire. The engineers figured the gas would burn off quickly well over forty years later and the crater is still burning bright to this day.

This crater has become a huge tourist attraction. Over 50,000 tourist have come to visit this flaming festival. Who wouldn’t want to say I have been to Gates of Hell and survived? For George Kourounis that’s nothing this man was the first to reach the bottom of the fire crater. This courageous explorer repelled down to the bottom of the crater wearing an heat-resistant aluminium suit. He collected rock samples at the bottom. Kourounis stayed in the crater for fifteen minutes before reaching the top of the crater again. Kourounis stated “I was in a spot where no human had ever been. It was like stepping out onto an alien planet-more people have been on the moon. It was exciting, adventurous, dangerous, a world first and a contribution to science.” The samples of rock that were collected should signs of bacteria being present. It is hard to believe that bacteria a life form can survive in these extreme conditions. This fascinates the science world. The locals and tourists have witnessed desert wildlife taking plunges into the burning flames. The light from the fire attracts spiders by the thousands and they dive to a fiery death. No wonder people are creeped out by the continuous fire.

Just five years ago a plan was set in by Gurbanuly Berdimuhamedow, Turkmenistan’s president, to fill in the crater and put on the so called “Gates of Hell.” The order was to fill the crater in and cease the over forty year old fiery flames. Berdimuhamedow plans to increase the natural gas supply and export the natural gas to outside countries for a substantial profit. That was five years ago and the “Gate” is still burning strong, possibly due to the increase in tourists and publicity that this crater has on the country of Turkmenistan. Since this crater has been order to be filled in make it a point to come visit this burning wonder that spiders are literally dying to see.