The Great Burning Hole in Turkmenistan, often referred to as the “Gate of Hell”, should be closed, as President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov decided.
Berdymukhamedov will be putting out the flames for health and environmental reasons, as well as as part of his efforts to export more gas.
“We are losing precious natural resources from which we can get a great income and rather use them to improve the well-being of our people,” he told a state TV channel.
The authorities were instructed to “find a solution to put out the fire.”
Created by a geological accident
The crater is located about 260 kilometers north of Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, near the city of Dervisi in the Karakum Desert. It is 60 meters in diameter and 20 meters deep.
The crater was formed as a result of an accident caused by Soviet geologists in 1971. While drilling for oil, the crew collided with a natural gas dump. Thus, the earth around them collapsed, creating a crater.
Large amounts of methane and other toxic gases began to leak out. To prevent further spills, it was allegedly decided to ignite.
Since then, the gas has been burning continuously for more than 50 years, and this phenomenon is one of the most important tourist attractions in Turkmenistan.
Local Turkmen geologists believe, however, that the crater formed in the 1960s, and that there were only flames in the 1980s.
The fires were extinguished several times, and in 2010 Berdymukhamedov also ordered experts to find a way to put out the fire.
Stunt collecting in the crater of the volcano
But the eccentric dictator was not only suspicious of the attraction of tourists.
In 2019, a video of President Berdymukhamedov appeared on state television, in which the president drove a car around the crater with a rally car.
The reason is that the president has been missing for several weeks, and there are rumors of his death. With this trick, Berdymukhamedov wanted to prove that he was back and that he was alive.
Watch a video of the adventure here:
Fly into the crater of a volcano
The Turkmen president is not the only one who has made amazing moves in the crater of the volcano. In 2014, Greek-Canadian adventurer George Koronis soared to the bottom of “Hell Sports” across the thread of the trail.
He wore a heat-resistant, heat-resistant suit, and took samples from scratch to check if life could survive in extreme conditions, according to National Geographic That followed the world’s first expedition to the crater.
Turkmenistan is one of the most closed countries in the world. They are at the bottom of corruption and Press Freedom Indicators, as well as countries such as North Korea and Eritrea.
The former Soviet republic is rich in gas resources, but the population of the country does not pay much attention to them.
President Berdymukhamedov has ruled the country with an iron fist since 2006. The former dentist is officially called “Arkadag”, meaning “protector”.
He is almost referred to as a demi-god by the state media, and is actively working to maintain his image.
The construction of the image consists, among other things, of musical performances, participation in horse races and promotional videos with one taking the main role.
“Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer.”