Derweze, Turkmenistan: the “Door to Hell”

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By Jane

Derweze, Turkmenistan

Derweze (also knows as Derveza) is a small village located in the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan. This small village has achieved notoriety in the last few decades due to a very unique reason.

It is a sixty feet wide and twenty feet deep burning crater, which smells rather unpleasantly of sulfur. Local people  call it the ‘Door of Hell‘.

Derweze, Turkmenistan
A breathtaking view od the Derweze gas crater pit.

This crater is a relic from the vestige of the Soviet era and is not completely natural. In 1971, whilst digging, Soviet geologists found themselves facing a cave containing a large stock of natural gas.

After part of the tunnel they had been dug, it collapsed in on itself meaning there was danger of the release of toxic gas. Authorities feared a disaster and they decided to burn everything. This was however not a very wise choice: more than 40 years later, the fire was still not out. It is still burning today.

derweze turkmenistan

A spectacle, or a hellish phenomenon?

Back in 2010 Turkmen authorities vowed to close it for once, but no news has surfaced since then…

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