Turkmenistan intends to shut down its raging ‘Gateway to Hell.’

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Turkmenistan intends to shut down its raging ‘Gateway to Hell.’

The president of the country has urged authorities to figure out how to put out a decades-old fire in a natural gas crater.

The last few years have felt like a dress rehearsal for living through the end of the world.

Thankfully, 2022 appears to be off to a good start: Turkmenistan plans to close the “Gateway to Hell,” a raging natural gas crater, presumably to prevent the other three horsemen of the apocalypse from following Pestilence through it.

According to Agence France-Presse, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said in televised remarks on Sunday that authorities will redouble efforts to put out a massive fire in the Karakum Desert that has been burning for decades.

The crater, which is both terrifying and fascinating, has recently become one of Turkmenistan’s most popular tourist attractions.

Berdymukhamedov, citing environmental and economic concerns, urged officials to “find a solution to extinguish the fire.” The crater, which measures about 200 feet (70 meters) wide and at least 65 feet (20 meters) deep and resembles a fiery portal to another world, “negatively affects both the environment and the health of the people living nearby,” he said.

He told AFP, “We are losing valuable natural resources for which we could make significant profits and use them to improve the well-being of our people.”

Berdymukhamedov has attempted to close the gates of hell before.

In 2010, he ordered experts to put out the fires, but they were unsuccessful.

The Darvaza gas crater, also known as the “Gateway to Hell,” the “Mouth of Hell,” and other colorfully apocalyptic nicknames, has been ablaze in the Central Asian nation since 1971.

The exact cause of the crater’s formation is unknown, but it’s commonly attributed to a Soviet drilling accident in which the ground beneath a drilling rig gave way after it collided with a gas cavern.

According to legend, Soviet scientists lit the sinkhole on fire to burn off emerging noxious gases and prevent the dangerous fumes from spreading because they underestimated the amount of fuel beneath their feet.

The crew expected it to burn out in a matter of weeks, but the fire is still burning after more than 50 years.

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