The door to hell. 41 years and still burning!
While drilling in 1971, Soviet geologists tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas.The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of 70 metres (230 ft). To avoid poisonous gas discharge, it was decided the best solution was burn it off. Geologists had hoped the fire would use all the fuel in a matter of days, but the gas is still burning
today. Locals have dubbed the cavern "The Door to Hell".
The locals call the 230 foot diameter hole "The Door To Hell".
Hoax or Fact:
The messages talk about a cavern (crater) filled with poisonous gases, that was found and set on fire in 1971, claiming that after 41 years, it is still burning. It is a fact, the messages talk about the 'The Door To Hell'.
The story goes back to 1971 in a place called Derweze, located in the middle of Karakum Desert, Turkmenistan, when Soviet geologists were undertaking the drilling work at the site, searching for natural gas resources. Turkmenistan has one of the largest oil and natural gas reserves in the world. The geologists there discovered a cavern filled with natural gas, and as they started storing the gas, the ground beneath the drilling camp collapsed and disappeared, thereby forming a wide crater, 70 metres in diameter. Further, they realized that the crater was releasing large quantities of methane gas. Fearing that this would lead to poisonous gases and might create environmental problems, also causing harm to the people living near Derweze village, the team of geologists decided to burn off this gas, thinking that the gas will burn off within few days and the fire will turn off.
Days went on, months passed by, and even after 41 years now, the methane gas crater is still burning. Reports say that the fire hot spots are spread over an area of 200 feet (60 metres) and to a depth of about 66 feet (20 metres). Locals in Karakum Desert call this giant hole of fire as 'The Door To Hell'.
Derweze became famous for this hell hole burning crater and attracted geologists and tourists from all parts of the world. Several pictures and videos of this 'Door to Hell' have been shared over the years. The video right below is one such. You can also see few stunning pictures of this door to hell in the image section below.
However, in April 2010, the President of Turkmenistan, Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, visited this site of Derweze and has ordered for the closing of this hell hole, considering the gas field development in surrounding areas; but it is yet to happen. The crater is still burning, certainly with less intensity than what it used to be earlier.
Therefore, the Door to hell, the crater that has been burning for over 41 years is a fact. An interesting point to note here is, this is not the only 'Eternal Flame' in the world, there are few other spontaneous natural flames that have been burning over the years - as a result of burning natural gases like methane. You can find a list of such occurrences in the reference section below.