Turkmenistan’s burning crater

Imagine starting a fire that burns for generations. In Turkmenistan sandy desert a geologist unknowingly did.

Right in the Karakum desert a gigantic crater burns day in and day out . Its glow has lit up the night sky for miles for close to 50 years. The crater, known as “The Gates of Hell”, was set on fire 1971 to prevent methane gas polluting the environment after a drilling rig by accident hit a natural gas cavern. It has been burning ever since. That’s a pretty long time. I’ve included the place on my-to-go- list.

Fine sand cover about 70% of Turkmenistan. With a coastline towards the Caspian Sea Turkmenistan also has beaches to offer.

A quest for OUAW has been to gather sand from every nation. For Turkmenistan, I was happy to get in contact with Gulya an international young woman with professional experiences in several international organizations. She collected the Turkmenistan sand right in the capital Ashgabat, known for its white marble buildings and grandiose monuments honoring national leaders.

Gulya says that when sharing with family and friends about the OUAW sand quest it caused a lot of laughter. Many were surprised to hear that someone could be so interested in sand. She says, ” I tried to explain them to cause, but believe me – rarely people in the world have mentality like yours or mine”.

A few weeks after this sand arrived I Guyla wrote ”You would be surprised to hear this” I got a new request for sand this time from an American scientist studying sand, its composition, structure, etc.

Yep sand is intriguing in so many ways!

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