Turkmenistan: Portal To Hell!

Travel Blog Gadling has an article today on an amazing place located near the town of Darvaza in the country of Turkmenistan.

The locals have dubbed the place the “Door to Hell” as this giant, gaping hole in the ground has been on fire for more than 35 years in a row. It seems the sight was surveyed by geologists who found the underground cavern and determined that it was filled with natural gas. For some reason, they got the bright idea of lighting the gas on fire to burn off the excess fumes before they could enter the cavern. All these years later, it’s still burning.

The article links to a very impressive gallery of photos from the place. I have to admit, it does look very eerie. Especially at night. It seems like a pretty cool place to go visit though. Just be sure to avoid it on Halloween.

Edit: More photos can be found here, including some day time shots.

Kraig Becker

4 thoughts on “Turkmenistan: Portal To Hell!”

  1. I wonder whether they’ve tried putting it out?
    I’d go for a giant “pot lid”, airlifted by helicopter over the hole; the idea being that if you block oxygen from the outside the fire could possibly be suffocated.
    I guess it all depends whether there is an oxygen source, aside from that outside the hole, that feeds the fire?
    Seems the site is a big tourist attraction so it wouldn’t be as popular without the fire… Lisa

  2. Good question Lisa. Doesn’t seem that they have tried as far as I can tell, but I like your idea of a pot lid. I’d love to see them bringing that in with a helicopter. 🙂

    I also think you’re right that it’s a big tourist attraction, so there probably isn’t any reason they want to put it out. I’m not sure how many tourists go to Turkmenistan, but this is certainly something worth seeing if you were to go.

    I’m still amazed by the photos of the site at night.

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