Turkmenistan’s Gates of Hell
Known more widely as the Gates to Hell or Door to Hell, the Darvaza Gas Crater is an eerie natural gas field that collapsed into a cavern and is now a continuous fire.
In 1971, geologists intentionally set fire to it in order to prevent the spread of methane gas and it has been continuously burning since 1971.
The site was first discovered by Soviet engineers and was initially though to be a substantial oil field site. The engineers set up drilling rigs to access the potential oil, but soon after the surveying of the site, they discovered a natural gas pocket.
The ground collapsed into a wide crater under the drilling rig and camp.
Similarly to Pennsylvania’s Centralia, which is the real-life ghost town that inspired Silent Hill, there is an ongoing fire that may burn forever.
Centralia has been an abandoned ghost town since 1962 after a coal mining fire started and it still burns under ground today. The Gates of Hell have a similar submerged inferno.
Expecting poisonous gases to be released from the caverns into nearby towns, it was advised to burn the gases off to prevent danger to neighboring communities.
The gases were expected to burn off in a matter of weeks, but half a century later, they’re still burning and show no signs of stopping.
Though there is so debate over when the crater was discovered and set on fire, many believe it was discovered in the 1960s, which is also when it was said to collapse. While others state the gases were not set on fire until the 1980s. There are no records of the events from the Soviet or Turkmens so tracing it’s origins and accurate dates proves a little tricky.
Where are the Gates of Hell?
The Gates of Hell gas crater has a total area of 5,350 m2. Its diameter is 69 meters (226 feet), and is about 30 meters (98 ft) deep. Many claim that the crater is haunted and obvious given its Satanic name, there’s no surprise, but it appears that the only relation it has to the haunted community is the name from its hellfire looking flames.
In April 2010, it was thought that the hole would be closed by the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, who visited the gas crater. But in 2013, he declared the region where the crater sits in the Karakum Desert a nature reserve.
In 2019, rumors were going around that Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, had died, so he went on local television to disprove his death by doing doughnuts around the Darvaza Gas Crater: