“You are only human” is a phrase used to forgive all kinds of sins. However, some people’s faults carry more lasting consequences than others. In the S0s, such a miscalculation tested the carrying capacity of an “oil mine”, which later proved to be a large pocket of natural gas.
After pressing a huge rug over this pocket, the engineers scarpered it as a huge crater filled with natural gas. A quick solution was put in place for fear of how the gas could affect neighboring wildlife and communities. It was a fire that would ignite the gas in a few weeks. Even 50 years later, those fires are still burning.
Our story begins in the heart of the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan, which was part of the Soviet Union in 1971. The Soviets were looking for oil fields and they believed it was a passionate source in the desert and they set up a craft station, including a large and heavy drill.
Once the drilling started, it soon became clear that they misunderstood the nature of the animal. Instead of refueling, they set up a huge operation on a huge pocket of natural gas. Soon this rug broke and formed a huge hole which is now known as Darvaza crater.
The Darvaza was over 70.1 m (230 ft) high and 20.1 m (66 ft) deep, and its collapse had a domino effect that was seen to have broken the straw across the landscape. With each new hole comes more natural gas which is mostly composed of methane. This presents a big problem because methane has the unfortunate habit of soaking all available oxygen in the air has feared local populations and wildlife life, scientists faced so many problems when faced with any problem and tried to set it on fire.
There was a method of insanity, as it was expected that it would take a few weeks to burn the natural gas and then the air quality in the Karakum Desert would continue as normal. The next foolishness in this, as it was revealed, was a complete miscalculation, and the flames continue to this day.
These have not stopped burning since they first ignited half a century ago, and scientists are still unsure how long they will continue to burn. Popularly known as the “Gates of Hell,” Darvaza Crater and its fiery neighbors attract hundreds of tourists in literal flames like insects.