|"Hell's Gate" photo from Spot Cool Stuff website|
Since start of blogging, I have written several posts about all countries of Central Asia except Turkmenistan. Current post is devoted to one interesting place in this country. First of all one should note that Turkmenistan is an interesting country with rich culture and history. In brief, the country used to be one of constituent republics of Soviet Union. After 1991, it became independent. The country borders with Caspian sea, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Iran. There is Karakum desert in the middle of it. Turkmenistan possesses fourth largest severves of natural gas in the world and exports it to Russia and Ukraine.
There is one interesting gas crater in Turkmenistan. Diameter of the crater is around 60 or 70 meters. Gas has been coming out of if for approximately three decades and it was on fire all this period of time. At present it still continues to burn. Just imagine huge hole on the ground with burning fire, locals often call it "Hell's Gate" or "Door to Hell" It is located in Karakum desert, near a village called "Darwaza" (also spelled Derweze) in translation into English "Darwaza" means gate. Obviously the name of village was used for giving title to the gas crater.
After learning about this "Hell's Gate," I became curious about its formation. How did the crater appeared on its current place, was it a natural phenomenon or it was man made? According to story in Cool Spot Stuff website, in 1971, the crater has appeared after land drills done by geologists. By that time Turkmenistan was part of USSR and Soviet geologists have been conducting expeditions in countries for finding natural resources. Guess what happened after formation of crater, lots of methane and other types of gas started to come out from it. In order to clear it and continue work, geologist set the coming out gas on fire, since that time fire continues burning. I assume the idea was not wise, since all coming out gas could be used for export or needs of local population.
In plain language the crater can be called just an ecological catastrophe, which is very beautiful, as dubbed by Spot Cool Stuff writers. Indeed it is amazing, especially during night time when red flames shine to several kilometers. The crater already has been visited by many tourists who have been in Turkmenistan. They took many photos and videos of it and uploaded to Internet. Below you may see some of these content available online:
In order to find out more about the crater, search "Hell's Gate in Turkmenistan" and "Derweze" in Google or visit the following Wikipedia page. If you are in Central Asia or planning to visit the region, the crater can be a good sight to see. I wonder whether many people want to visit the place, if to judge by online search, many Internet users are interested in seeing pictures and videos. I think it is amazing and worth seeing. Have a nice day.