Thursday, September 2, 2010

Looking for a bizarre place on our planet? "The Door to Hell" in Turkmenistan certainly fits the bill...!

I often come across online resources about our planet and some of the really bizarre and fascinating places that exist on it... some of which I would love to visit, and others perhaps not so much... :)

So over the next few days I am going to randomly post about some of these places, from the amazingly beautiful to the downright bizarre.

Let's start with the bizarre shall we...? :)

- Derweze, Turkmenistan - "The Door to Hell"
The aptly named "Door to Hell" is the result of a 1971 drilling expedition where geologists accidentally discovered an underground cavern filled with natural gas, during the process of drilling.

The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a pit approximately 70 metres wide.
To avoid any poisonous gas discharge, a decision was made to burn the gas...
Not a very smart decision, it turns out...

39 Years on, and the pit is still on fire! Sheesh, I guess the guy who lit the match must feel like a bit of a tool...
By night the phenomenon is nothing short of spectacular:

According to my ever-reliable (nudge nudge, wink wink:) online resource Wikipedia, the President of Turkmenistan visited the site in April this year, and ordered that the hole should either be closed (how on earth do you close up a pit of fire?), otherwise measures should be taken to minimize its influence on the development of other natural gas fields in the area.
Either way, the "Door to Hell" is certainly one bizarre place on our planet. The nickname it carries also adds a degree of mystery and intrigue I would guess.

Worth a visit would you say...? 

Personally I would find it fascinating to see such a rare sight with my own eyes.
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