The last few years have felt like an experimental race through life. Fortunately, 2022 seems to have made a promising start: Turkmenistan plans to close the fiery natural gas hole known as the “gateway to hell”, perhaps to prevent the other three Apocalypse riders from following their friend epidemic through it.
President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said in a televised address on Sunday that authorities would make renewed efforts to put out the huge fire that has been raging in the Karakum Desert for decades. Agency France-Press Report. As scary as it is fascinating, the hole has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Turkmenistan in recent years.
Citing environmental and economic concerns, Bardimukhamedov called on officials to “find a solution to the fire”, AFP reported. The hole, which measures about 200 feet (70 meters) wide and at least 65 feet (20 meters) deep and looks like a burning portal to the rest of the world, “negatively affects both the environment and the health of the people living nearby,” he said.
“We are losing valuable natural resources for which we can make significant profits and use them for the betterment of our people,” he told AFP.
This is the first time Bardimukhamedov has tried to close the gates of hell. He instructed experts to put out the fire in 2010, but their efforts failed.
Commonly known as “Gateway to Hell”, “Mouth of Hell” and other colorful apocalyptic nicknames, the Darvaza gas crater has been burning in Central Asian countries since 1971. The details of the source of the hole remain a bit of a mystery, but it is usually attributed to a Soviet drilling accident where the ground beneath a drilling rig gave way after hitting a gas cave. The story goes Soviet scientists, underestimating the amount of fuel under their feet, set fire to the sinkhole to burn the rising toxic gases and to prevent the spread of dangerous smoke. The crew hoped it would burn out in a few weeks, but after more than 50 years, the fire is still getting stronger.