A gateway to the bowels of the Earth in Turkmenistan
The Darvaza gas crater, better known as the Gate of Inferno, is a fire that has been burning for decades in the desert in Turkmenistan, a country located in central Asia.
Located in the Karakum desert, this 70 meter wide (229 ft) and around 30 meter deep (98 ft) crater is one of the main tourist attractions in the area.
The president wants to close the Gates of Inferno
But the president of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, is looking for a way to put out the fire that rises from the arid land. He wants to close the door of Darvaza for good.
Reasons for the closure
Among the reasons mentioned by the president is the health of the populations near the Karakum desert and the fact that constant extreme heat affects the environment.
Humanitarian, ecological and economic reasons
The authorities assure that the constant loss of natural gas, due to combustion, supposes a waste of natural resources that could be used in many ways.
The origins of the Gateway to Inferno
It is believed that the Darvaz gas crater dates back to the 1970s.
An expedition gone wrong
The most widespread version of the origin in the country points to a Soviet expedition that, back in 1971 and in search of gas, drilled in the wrong area, causing a gas pocket to explode that created the crater and three sinkholes.
Preventing the methane from spreading
To prevent the methane gases from being expelled into the atmosphere, geological experts chose to set the gas on fire, in what could be considered a mistake since it caused a fire that can’t be put out.
Geologists thought that the gas would burn for a few weeks and eventually go out, but the gas is still coming out and the fire is still burning, more than 50 years later.
Another theory about the origin of this infernal gate
However, Canadian explorer George Kourounis, who visited the area on an expedition for National Geographic, acknowledges that it is not possible to know the real origin of this crater. He found no information, documents, or neighbors who knew of the origin.
A well chosen name
George Kourounis went so far as to assure, upon seeing the crater in person, that “it was the kind of place from which Satan himself could emerge.” Without doubt calling it the Gate of Inferno is appropriate.
And how are they going to close it?
The question is, how are they going to close this giant crater? As confirmed by the official national newspaper Neytralny Turkmenistan, local scientists are looking for a solution.
Asking for international help
However, if local scientists can’t find it, they won’t hesitate to ask for help from foreign consultants, in order to find a plausible way to close definitely this infernal gate.
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By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter