30 March 2011

The Door To Hell

Mike sent me an IM one morning a few weeks ago, and I've been thinking of this thing ever since.


That's a crater in the middle of Derweze, which is a village in Turkmenistan. And it's on fire. It's been on fire for 40 years.

Here is the Wikipedia page; there's not a ton of information, but I guess enough to give context. In 1971, this crater formed while some people were drilling, and they realized that methane was emanating from it. Geologists decided that burning the gas would be less dangerous than letting it permeate the atmosphere, and figured that it would burn out in a matter of hours. It's still burning.

Isn't that nuts? The crater (which is 230 feet across, by the way, that little dot on the right of the crater is an SUV (I must have either seen another picture when I first learned about Derweze with an SUV in it, or I'm hallucinating, thank you Anon; it is actually a hunk of metal)) has come to be affectionately (maybe not affectionately) referred to as the Door To Hell.

I immediately put the town's name into Metafilter, because this is exactly the sort of thing that would be posted in there. And, you know what, not really. Why don't more people talk about this thing?

Check out some more pictures on Flickr.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...