The Door to Hell

Go to Hell has become an all too common phrase among Hell Boy fans, frustrated commuters, and ill-tempered coworkers; however, if you were so inclined to actually attempt a journey to Hell, you would have to travel to a small village in the middle of the Karakum desert. The village is named Derweze, which means The Gate in Turkmen language. Near Derweze is a large hole, roughly 230 feet in diameter, which is wrapped in flames. This hole is known as the Door to Hell, and you can obviously see why:

The door to hell
The Door to Hell, as seen in 2010.

Typical to any movie involving a portal to Hell, the story of the Door to Hell starts with some curious geologists. In 1971, these geologists went poking around the outskirts of Derweze, looking from some natural gas pockets. When they started digging, the ground beneath them collapsed, nearly swallowing the geologists. Being the bright scientists that they were, the geologists decided it was better to light the natural gas pocket on fire, rather than let it rise into the atmosphere. They expected the burning of the gases would last no more than a couple days. The Door to Hell has been burning for the past 40 years, with no clear signs of stopping.

the door to hell
As seen from afar.

I repeat: The Door to Hell has been burning for the past 40 years, with no clear signs of stopping.

Do you now see why this marvelous hole has received such a demonic name? This raging natural gas fire has burned countless tons of gas over the past years and we still have no idea how much more it will continue to burn. It is as if the fires of Hell itself are swelling in the one place we never expected: Derweze.



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