Door to Hell: The Burning Crater of Darvaza

Photo: John H. Bradley

That burning crater near Darvaza, Turkmenistan, is called "The Door to Hell" by the locals. Decades ago, geologists were drilling for gas when they hit an underground cavern filled with gas. The drilling rig and camp collapsed into the cave and ignited the gas, which has been burning ever since.

Photographer John H. Bradley has more amazing photos of the Darvaz Burning Gas Crater: Link - via English Russia Fogonazos - Thanks Louise and Josh!

Phillips Connor has a series of YouTube clip for you to see:

[YouTube Link]

This reminds me of the Centralia, PA coal fire that has been burning underneath the city since the mid 60s.
You think they could come up with some sort of steam turbine to capture what is essentially geothermal heat and put it to use instead of letting it all burn off.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
so why dont they cover up the hole with a huge metal lid which they could helicopter over the top, and then starve it of oxygen and then harvest the gas?
Im sure it really wouldnt be that difficult, there have been trickier feats performed with the wonders of modern engineering.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Nice idea Hugh. Might happen now. But the reason it hasn't happened up till 2006 might be due to where the crater is, Turkmenistan.

Old Saparmurat wasn't the most cleverest of leaders. Why bother investing in your country's geothermal energy sources when you have $3 billion in your personal bank account and you're a totalitarian dictator? The motivation just goes...
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I THINK I see it on satellite images on Google Maps. Looks to be about 6 miles north of Darvaza, about 2 miles to the right of the division line. Appears as an orange dot.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Well it looks like they found gas ALMOST where they expected it to be. They only problem is they hit another gas pocket where they didn't expect. One big OOPS. Don't you just love it when Mother Nature decides to stike back.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
This was on a recent book or movie but I can't remember which or what. Does anyone know?

My best guess is the wonderful travel-documentary Long Way Round with Ewan MacGregor and his buddy Charley Boorman, but I am far from certain.

Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
what a waste!!!...especially when oil and gas prices are ever increasing....more so for people like me...located on isles in the South guy's wouldn't believe the gas rates we hae here...
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Well, after having given this one a whole "hell" of a lot of thought, the conclusion is obvious. This is the beginning of the biggest vodka still on earth.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I was just out here last weekend and the Darvaza Crater awesome. We camped out nearly a half mile from the crater and could see the glow all night as well as hear the hiss of the burning gas. The government of Turkmenistan has no interest in harvesting or using this gas as they have one of the largest natural gas reservoirs in the world and all Turkmen are provided with free natural gas and water until 2020. Their cooking fires are burning around the clock because matches are more expensive than the gas.

Gasoline costs about 23 cents a liter!
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I wonder if your readers are aware that the predatory natural gas industry is poised to invade upstate NY with horizontal fracture-drilling. The same geniuses that thought this fire would go in a few days are trying to convince landowners that unconventional gas drilling is "safe."
They use bribes, lies, bull***t commercials that call natural gas "green" or "clean" to prey on poor landowners all over the world.

Check out to get past the disinformation.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Tut tut... Shame on all of us.. The World/Life is sooooo simple.. Share. Give unto others as we would have ourseleves. I hope that one day Someone will stand up and speak sense. Money, Religion and power will bring us all down. Until that day, big big hugs and kisses to everyone.. xxx
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Interested to read Otego's comment as Queensland, Australia is at this time being bombarded with the "clean", "green", "rural partnership" natural gas propaganda, which most farmers seem to prefer to the Australian government allowing the coal companies to take & destroy the land with little or no compensation.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
@ Adam Stanhope - they show The Burning Crater of Darvaza in "Exploring the Deserts of the Earth, Episode 2" (Free on netflix right now).
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Click here to access all of this post's 24 comments

Email This Post to a Friend
"Door to Hell: The Burning Crater of Darvaza"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More