The “Door To Hell” Gas Deposit In Derweze, Turkmenistan
Derweze is a Turkmenistan village located in the middle of the Karakum Desert. Turkmenistan was once a part of the Soviet Union and is now one of the six independant Turkic States of Central Asia. It is bordered on the southeast by Afghanistan, on the south by Iran, and the east by the Caspian Sea.
The Derweze area is rich in natural gas. In 1971 geologists were drilling in the area when they drilled through into a huge underground cavern. The roof of the cavern collapsed under the drilling rig leaving a hole about 230 feet across. Methane gas was escaping into the atmosphere through the large crater. The geologists decided to light the gas on fire expecting it to burn out in a few days. Now, almost 40 years later, the gas is still burning. No one knows how long the gas will burn, but it seems to be unlimitless. It is a waste of natural resources, but hey, they created quite a phenomenon. The locals call it the “Door To Hell”.
This is a video shot at night from near the edge of the crater of the gas burning.