Earth’s “Gate To Hell” May Finally Be Extinguished And Closed After 50 Years
There is a gaping hole in the desert that has been burning nonstop since 1971. The fire is vivid coming through it in flames that would burn anything that came their way. It is what we picture when we think of the “gates of hell.” A place that burns so hot, it aches, is uncomfortable, and where no soul would want to live eternally.
The fiery glow of the Gates Of Hell can be seen for miles around, reminding us to live life to the fullest now, because we really don’t know what happens when we leave this earth. If we go to a hell that is anything similar to this, we’re doomed. However, even this gate to Hell might be ordered to close soon, after 50 years of unleashing its fire.
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It Started With An Accident
The gates of hell and the crater surrounding it were formed in the early 1970s. Soviet scientists were on an oil expedition in the region when suddenly as they were drilling down, the ground collapsed. In good faith, the scientists were worried that dangerous gases would be released into the atmosphere. In order to prevent the spread of the natural gas, they lit the giant hole on fire. What they didn’t expect was that it would just keep on burning and never stop. It’s been five decades since, and it’s been burning just as hot ever since.
The crater itself is 69 meters wide, 30 meters deep, and can reach temperatures of over 1,000C in certain spots. Keep in mind that the temperature that marks the upper limit of what the human body can handle is 35 Celsius any temperature above 30 Celsiuscan be dangerous and deadly
It Became A Tourist Destination
The crater was nicknamed by tourists as the ‘Door to Hell’ because of the way it looked like an ominous burning pit. For fifty years, it has become a landmark hidden deep in the Karakum Desert. Despite not being the easiest place to get to, it become one of Turkmenistan’s top tourist destinations,
In the past five years, 50,000 tourists have visited the site. The surrounding area has also become popular for wild desert camping.
Now, The President Wants To Extinguish It
Turkmenistan’s leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has since ordered for the gas crater to be closed. He worries about its impact on the environment and the economy. This has been a worry that has carried over for years. Experts in the Central Asian country have been searching for a solution to the crater since 2010.
Berdymukhamedov has been President since 2006. He is known for is famed for his love of gold and marble architecture and has been actively building monuments and statues lately. He even made a giant golden statue of a Turkmen shepherd dog, his favorite breed and one of the country’s official symbols.The President loves the dogs so much that he has written a book about them,.
The Fire Is Hurting The Community
President Berdymukhamedov wants to hurry the process of closing the Gates because as he says it “negatively affects both the environment and the health of the people living nearby”.He explains: “We are losing valuable natural resources for which we could get significant profits and use them for improving the wellbeing of our people.”
The people could use all the financial help they can get to better their living conditions. Turkmenistan was the poorest nation during the USSR. Today, 10 percent of the 5.8 million Turkmen live in extreme poverty.
There Is Bacteria Living Inside The Pit
Explorer George Kourounis managed to descend into the pit despite its unbearing heat. He said to National Geographic: “Since this was something nobody had ever done before there was a lot of uncertainty and questions. How hot was it at the bottom? Is the air breathable? Will the ropes survive? What if something goes wrong? Nobody knew the answers – not even me. When I actually set foot at the bottom it was an overwhelming feeling.”
The mission would be extremely dangerous, but what was worse was what the explorer found. He was shocked to find bacteria living inside the crater. You would think that the extreme heat would kill them off.
No Human Had Ever Dared Enter Through The Gates
Being inside the Gates of Hell was in itself an out-of-this-world experience: “I was in a spot where no human had ever been. It was like stepping onto an alien planet – more people have been on the moon. It was exciting, adventurous, dangerous, a world first and a contribution to science. The expedition had everything I love.”
As the image shows, workers in the area have to wear protective gear to stay safe from the temperatures of the environment, which average around 52C. As of now, there is no clear plan on how and when the crater will be extinguished.
A New Beginning
Closing the Gates Of Hell could very well be a new beginning to the country, not only symbolically but practically. The country has the fourth-largest reserves of natural gas in the world. Tourism is still a relatively small industry there and with this location being gone, it could diminish even further.
However, it gives locals a chance to breathe easy, and live away from the gas’ toxic emissions.
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Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives