The sad truth about the eternal fire pit

Central Turkmenistan is known for its giant fire pit, which has been burning for more than 40 years. But behind the miraculous thing that seems to be the masterpiece of this creation, is the unintentional humanity towards nature .

Turkmenistan is a country with 70% of the desert area (Karakum desert), divided into 5 provinces, of which the second largest province, Ahal Welayat, is located in the south central region. Ahal is a completely desert region and only accounts for 14% of the country's population, but is rich in minerals.

Picture 1 of The sad truth about the eternal fire pit

When Soviet scientists at the time discovered a place of oil storage near the village of Derweze in the Karakum desert, they were quick to exploit the area. After the rig collapsed, a fairly wide crater was created, and released a large amount of methane. This amount of methane immediately caught fire while people tried to eliminate it, and until more than 40 years after the fire was still burning forever.

The village of Derweze (or Darvaza village) is located in central Turkmenistan with only a tribe of 350 people, coping with the many harsh conditions of the desert over hundreds of years to survive, and nothing can break. break the peace and the peaceful life of the nomadic tribe here. However, because the village is located on a land with a lot of priceless natural resources, their peaceful life has completely changed.

Picture 2 of The sad truth about the eternal fire pit

In the late 1960s, the Soviet Union's exploratory teams traveled across the continent searching for the location of gas and oil fields. In 1971, one of the expedition teams located where they considered hiding a large amount of minerals beneath the village of Derweze. The camp and rig were quickly erected in the area, and drilling work was also carried out shortly after.

When drilling was conducted, petrochemical scientists estimated the amount of gas available in the area. The initial calculations are quite satisfactory; therefore, many other platforms were erected, the production capacity reached its peak, and they started storing gas .

The disaster struck

The disaster struck shortly after the land below the drilling rig collapsed and dragged the entire camp into a gaping hole. Oddly, no one lost their life after falling into a poisonous hole, however, a large amount of methane was released, flying into the air. And this not only seriously affects the environment but also threatens the health of the villagers of Derweze. Once methane gas burns, it will increase global warming more than CO 2 .

Picture 3 of The sad truth about the eternal fire pit

Geologists then decided to burn this hole because they thought that burning this methane for a few days would save money and be much safer than using expensive equipment to suck air, In addition, this is quite dangerous and lasts for months.

However, because the reserve in the area is in fact much higher than the initial calculation, when the scientists conducted gas combustion, the crater erupted, and did not stop burning. Since then, this crater has always been on fire for more than 40 years. The locals called the area "The Door of Hell " and "The Hole of Darvaza".


The mouth of the hole where the rig is collapsed is quite large, 70m wide and 20m deep. The unpleasant smell of burnt sulfur has spread throughout the region with every direction. In 2004, then Turkmenistan's president, Saparmurat Niyazov, ordered the residents of Derweze to disband from the area, but not for their safety, but because he thought the village would leave a bad image. with visitors coming to the mouth of the fire pit.

In April 2010, another Turkmenistan leader, Mr. Berdimuhamedow, went to the "Door of Hell" and gave the order to close the area. The mouth of the fire pit has hindered all the work of exploiting abundant resources here. However, by the month of July 2013, there was no move by the Turkmenistan government for resource exploitation in the area, and the fire in the Darvaza manhole continued to burn.