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The Door to Hell EarthCache

Hidden : 02/01/2010
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Geocache Description:

A burning crater near Darvaza, Turkmenistan, is called "The Door to Hell" by the locals.

Darvaza and the burning gas crater are located in the central area of Turkmenistan, about 260 km north of Turkmenistan’s capital city Ashgabat.

It was during rule of Soviet Russia, back in 1971 when geologists were conducting gas drilling in Kara-Kum desert and discovered an underground chamber close to the village of Darvaza. The discovery of the chamber was accidental and resulted in drilling rig collapsing, leaving giant gas crater filled with poisonous gases exposed to the world outside. The concentration of gases within the crater was high so nobody dared to go down there. It was then when someone came with an idea to light the gas in the crater on fire so as to burn it before the poisonous fumes engulf the nearby town of Darvaza.

The geologists thought the idea of burning the gas was smart and went ahead with lighting the crater on fire. As it turns out, the supply of quality natural gas below the crater is near infinite as the crater’s been burning since. The gas crater in Darvaza is still burning and has been since 1971 without interruption. No one can even imagine how much quality natural gas was burnt throughout the 38 years of the crater being on fire. No one can estimate how much more gas there still is. When they first lit the gas crater on fire, they thought the fire would go out after a few days. It’s been decades and the gas crater is burning just as it did the day it was first lit.

WARNING! Don't go to close and don't stay to much near the crater because of the almost unbreakable temperature

To log this Earth Cache
1. Take a photo of yourself and your GPS near to the crater.

Answer by email the following questions
2. What is the approximate diameter and the depth of the crater?
3. How meters long is the biggest flame you can see?
4. How big is the area around the crater without vegetation?

Additional Hints (No hints available.)