Couple of months ago, I wrote about the gate to Heaven, Heavensgate and other places that give the bliss and merriment of paradise while we all took a tour of China to witness the truth. This time, I’ll be taking you by the hand and walking you straight to the Door To Hell.

Door To Hell (also called the Darvaza gas crater or ”Gate of Hell”) is a natural gas field in Derweze, Turkmenistan, that collapsed into an underground cavern, becoming a natural gas crater.

It was lit by Soviet Petrochemical Scientists (Geologists) in 1971 thinking it will fade in a couple of days. Surprisingly, it’s still burning till THIS MOMENT!

It was originally set on fire to prevent the spread of methane gas. The diameter of the crater is 69 metres (226 ft), and its depth is 30 metres (98 ft).

Historical Background

According to Turkmen geologist, Anatoly Bushmakin, the site was identified by Soviet engineers in 1971.

It was originally thought to be a substantial oil field site. The engineers set up a drilling rig and operations to assess the quantity of oil available at the site.

Soon after the preliminary survey, they found a natural gas pocket, the ground beneath the drilling rig and camp collapsed into a wide crater and was buried.

Expecting dangerous releases of poisonous gases from the cavern into nearby towns, the engineers thought it best to burn the gas off.

At the time, it was estimated that the gas would burn out within a few weeks, but it has instead continued to burn for more than four decades.


The crater has become a popular tourist attraction. Since 2009, 50,000 tourists have visited the site. The gas crater has a total area of 5,350 m2. The surrounding area is also popular for wild desert camping.

In April 2010, the president of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, visited the site and ordered that the hole should be closed. In 2013, he declared the part of the Karakum Desert with the crater a nature reserve.

The crater was featured in a Die Trying episode titled “Crater of Fire”. Explorer George Kourounis became the first person to ever set foot at the bottom, gathering samples of extremophile microorganisms. The episode was broadcast on the National Geographic Channel on July 16, 2014.


The gas crater is located near the village of Derweze, also known as Darvaza. It is in the middle of the Karakum Desert, about 260 kilometres (160 mi) north of Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. The gas reserve found here is one of the largest in the world.

The name “Door to Hell” was given to the field by the locals, referring to the fire, boiling mud, and orange flames in the large crater, which has a diameter of 70 metres (230 ft).

The hot spots range over an area with a width of 60 metres (200 ft) and to a depth of about 20 metres (66 ft).

Effects On Future Development Of Gas

On President Berdimuhamedow’s 2010 visit he recommended that measures be taken to limit the crater’s influence on the development of other natural gas fields in the area.

Turkmenistan plans to increase its production of natural gas, intending to increase its export of gas to many countries such as Pakistan, China, India, Iran, Russia, and Western Europe, from its present yearly production level to 225 billion cubic metres (7.9×1012 cu ft) in the next 20 years.

Excerpt: wikipedia

Author: Taofeek Ayeyemi