- Sputnik International, 1920, 24.01.2023
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Nothing Personal, Satan: Turkmenistan’s President Orders to Extinguish ‘Gates of Hell’

© Blogger photo feissal_b/screenshotMan Stands in Front of Darvaza Crater in Turkmenistan
Man Stands in Front of Darvaza Crater in Turkmenistan - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.01.2022
Turkmenistan has one of the most interesting tourist attractions in the world, which due to its extravagant nickname has prompted numerous conspiracy theories. Ironically, it was created purely by accident.
Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimukhamedov has ordered the government to extinguish the fire burning in the Darvaza Crater, commonly known as the Gates of Hell, local media reported. The head of state told the government to come up with a solution to the issue.

He stressed that the fire has wasted a huge amount of gas and negatively affects the environment, as well as the health of people who live in nearby areas.
The Gates of Hell, located 260 kilometres north of the capital Ashgabat, is considered one of the most interesting and exotic tourist attractions in the world. In 1971, when Turkmenistan was part of the USSR, Soviet geologists embarked on a trip to the Karakum Desert in search for natural resources.

Reports say that while drilling for oil, they hit a pocket of natural gas, which caused the ground to collapse, creating an enormous crater 60 metres wide and 20 metres deep. To prevent methane from leaking into the atmosphere and poisoning nearby residential areas, the scientists decided to set the crater alight.

They believed that the fire would burn off in a matter of weeks. Little did they know that they were about to create a sight that would spark numerous conspiracy theories and would be visited by thousands of adventure-seeking individuals every year.

51 years after the Gates of Hell were "opened", the fire is still burning, although the flames are not as big as they were before. It is unclear what can be done to extinguish it. In 2013, President Gurbanguly Berdimukhamedov issued a similar order, but it seems the authorities failed to find a solution.
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