Located in the middle of the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan lies a burning crater with a diameter of 70 metres and depth of 20 metres: The Door to Hell – noted for its natural gas fire.
The history behind this crater starts in 1971, whereby Russian scientists thought it was a great oil field site. Pleased with finding gas resources they started to store the gas. However, the ground collapsed; creating the crater seen above – releasing methane gas. Fearing the release of poisonous gases the scientists decided to burn it off. Expectations were that the gas would burn off in a couple of days, however its still burning after four decades.
The name of the crater isn’t too hard to understand its origins, it really does look like the opening of hell. A man-made one at that – and a wonder of the world in my eyes.
Here are a few more pictures to ‘tickle your fancy’.
I first got introduced to this amazing memorial by my brother – apparently there have been several people exploring Google maps and what appears to be in the African desert is a black spot. When zoomed in we’re met with the following picture (alternatively click here to see for yourself on Google maps).
So what is it? It’s a memorial for the UTA Flight 772, which unfortunately succumb to an explosion – scattering and breaking up over the Sahara Desert, killing 155 passengers and 15 crew members. The flight was scheduled to depart at Brazzaville, Republic of Congo and arrive at Paris, France.
18 years later, families of the victims gathered at the crash site to build a memorial. One of epic proportions and meaning. Even then, pieces of wreckage were found at the crash site – due to the remoteness of the location. With help of local inhabitants the memorial was built mostly by hand; dark stones were used to create a 200ft diameter circle, depicting the outline of a compass. 170 broken mirrors were placed around the circumference – used to represent the victims. Among the things being used to create the memorial, a wing from the aircraft (which was rescued 10 miles away from the site) was used to display the names of those who had died.
The finished memorial was completed a few months later, depicting a compass with an aeroplane in the centre – as said before, the memorial is so vast that it can be seen from Google maps and Google earth.
If you’d like to see pictures of its construction please see the link in the sources section below.