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Derweze is located in Turkmenistan
Location in Turkmenistan
Coordinates: 40°15′09.48″N 58°26′21.93″E / 40.2526333°N 58.4394250°E / 40.2526333; 58.4394250Coordinates: 40°15′09.48″N 58°26′21.93″E / 40.2526333°N 58.4394250°E / 40.2526333; 58.4394250
CountryFlag of Turkmenistan.svg Turkmenistan
ProvinceAhal Province
 (1989 census)
 • Total1,683

Derweze (from Persian: دروازه‎, literally "gate"; also known as Darvaza) is a village in Turkmenistan of about 350 inhabitants, located in the middle of the Karakum Desert, about 260 km north from Ashgabat.

Darvaza inhabitants are mostly Turkmen of the Teke tribe, preserving a semi-nomadic lifestyle. In 2004 the village was disbanded following the order of the President of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov, because "it was an unpleasant sight for tourists."[citation needed]

Darvaza Gas Crater[edit]

Panorama of the crater site, 2011
Turquoise Lake Crater, 2010

The Derweze area is rich in natural gas. While drilling in 1971, Soviet geologists tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas.[1][2] The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of 70 metres (230 ft) at 40°15′10″N 58°26′22″E / 40.25264°N 58.43941°E / 40.25264; 58.43941 (The Gates of Hell). To avoid poisonous gas discharge, it was decided to burn off the gas,[3] and while geologists had hoped the fire would consume the fuel in a few days, the gas is still burning nearly forty years later.

Locals have named the crater the "Door to Hell".[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kressmann, Jeremy (2008-03-25). "Turkmenistan's "Door to Hell"". Gadling.com. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  2. ^ https://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/turkmenistan-has-its-very-own-gate-to-hell
  3. ^ "Darvaz: The Door to Hell". English Russia. 2008-03-25. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  4. ^ "The Burning Gas Door to Hell in Darvaza, Turkmenistan". Yourenotfromaroundhere.com. 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2014-03-02.

External links[edit]