“The door to hell”: the crater that has been burning for 50 years

Currently, the crater has become a tourist attraction that receives hundreds of visitors per year. Photo: (Shutterstock)

A miscalculation opened the terrifying crater that has burned at 400 degrees Celsius for half a century.

WORLDNEWS, (May 14, 2021).- In the middle of a desert that seems to have no end, a huge incandescent crater opens that has not stopped burning for half a century. Experts and locals have called it differently over the last 50 years, but one name has caught on more than the others: “the door to Hell“.

The story began in 1971, during the Cold War when the Soviet Union, convinced that a conflict with the Western powers over oil was imminent, launched itself into the most remote corners of its geography to find unknown hydrocarbon deposits.

That search led them to investigate the Karakum desert, located in the territory that is currently occupied by Turkmenistan.

Based on previous studies carried out on the ground, Soviet geologists decided to carry out a series of programmed explosions to assess the potential of the area without imagining that they were about to unleash a problem that to this day remains unsolved.

The dynamited caves were connected to natural gas fields
The dynamited caves were connected to natural gas fields. Photo: (Shutterstock)

The experts dynamited shallow caves that, according to their analyzes, provided access to a small reservoir of natural gas. But the detonation destroyed the structure and caused subsidence in the ground that took with it the equipment deployed by the technicians.

Although there were no fatalities, the explosion caused a hole 70 meters in diameter and about 30 meters deep and raised a question that worried geologists: Had they inadvertently created a propitious scenario for a massive gas leak capable of putting them at risk? everyone in danger?

Frightened by the possible consequences of their mistake, they made another mistake. Fearing a dangerous gas leak, they decided to set the place on fire, convinced that the flames would go out in a few days. They were wrong again .

The fire continues to burn to this day
The fire continues to burn to this day. Photo: (Shutterstock)

Without looking for it, they opened the “door to Hell” , a colossal fire that continues to burn to this day with temperatures close to 400 degrees Celsius .

So far, no scientist has been able to predict for sure when the crater will turn off. Darweze people, a small village of Turkmenistan near the crater, ordered the relocation of its 300 inhabitants as a security measure.

The inhabitants of a nearby village had to be relocated due to the danger posed by the crater
The inhabitants of a nearby village had to be relocated due to the danger posed by the crater. Photo: (Shutterstock)

Currently, the crater has become a tourist attraction that receives hundreds of visitors per year, attracted by the legend of the door that human inability opened and still could not close.

Photo: La Naciòn



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