Wonders of the World

Knocking on the ‘Door to Hell’ (thanks blf):

Turmekistan, one of the Turkic states in Central Asia, is home to a gaping wound in Mother Earth.  Actually, it’s a huge crater with a gooey molten center.  You know, like lava cakes!  More seriously, the hole is a molten crater known as the Darvasa Crater (its nickname is the ‘Door to hell’).  It has been burning for over 40 years.  

The origin of Turkmenistan’s Darvaza Crater – nicknamed the “door to hell” – is disputed, but the theory most widely accepted involves a Soviet expedition to explore for gas.

A Turkmen geologist claims the borehole was set alight in 1971 after fears it was emitting poisonous gases. It has now been burning for 40 years.

Recently, a Canadian explorer by the name of George Kourounis became the first known person to descend into the pit to collect soil samples to see if life could exist in such a climate. Turns out there was bacteria down there.  That could apparently help inform the search for life outside our solar system.  Cool! 

 

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Wonders of the World
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