Karakum desert is a great desert located in Central Asia. Like other deserts, it is dry, lifeless, and a home to various poisonous insects and reptiles. One would consider that there is nothing interesting in this wide desert, but it is one of the most visited tourism destinations. A big black hole located in middle of the desert makes it an attractive tourism destination. Many people visit the place only to see this big black hole, which glows with fire that has not gone out for the last 40 years, and has gained the epithet of Door to Hell.
What the“Door to Hell” is all about?
It is surprising that the giant hole located in middle of the desert has not gone out of fire for last four decades. The local people also call the whole as “The Door to Hell.” This giant hole is located in Turkmenistan. Basically, it is a hole that is filled with natural gas and this gas makes the fire rage day and night.
This giant hole and fire is the result of an accident. Soviet geologists identified the site as a potential source of petroleum and gas, and started drilling. They did their work successfully and started storing the resources Suddenly, the ground surface collapsed, revealing a hole with a diameter about 230 ft and filled with methane. Luckily, no lives were lost in this accident. The engineers and geologists thought that this giant hole could release poisonous gas and harm people living in the nearby village, Derweze. The scientists decided to burn out the gas and set the hole on fire. Surprisingly, that fire did not stop and the flames continue to burn. This accident converted the place into a tourism destination.
The president of the country ordered to seal the hole in April 2010. The main motive behind this was to reduce the future risk it poses to the local population. Methane can also affect the ozone layer and contributes to global warming. It can be more dangerous than carbon dioxide. It is considered as a greenhouse gas as it absorbs the sun’s heat, warming the atmosphere like carbon dioxide.
Life and tourism
This desert was once covered by the Caspian sea, today you can see dry desert for miles, with no water. The temperature of the desert near the Caspian Sea can range from 26.11 degree Celsius to 33.8 degree Celsius. The Karakum desert receives some rainfall, which helps reduce the problem of drought. Rivers like Hari, Murghab, and Karakum Canal are the major sources of water. Karakum Canal is the largest irrigation canal in the world that helps local people to grow various crops. The region is suitable for crops like cotton. The area is rich in underground natural reserves like oil, gas, and sulfur.
The country is one of the most favorable tourism destinations. Turkmenistan is known for its sea resorts. Major tourism attractions in the country include Nisa, an ancient city located about 18 km far from Ashgabat. Avaza is a wonderful tourism destination located at the coast of Caspian Sea. The Giant fire hole located in the middle of Karakum desert is another tourism destination of the country, which is a result of an accidental excavation.