MAY 26, 2017 08:19 AM PDT

What's in that hole?


Ever heard of the Darvaza Gas Crater, otherwise known as the Gate to Hell? Located in Turkmenistan, this sulfuric, burning hole is 69 meters wide (226 ft), and reaches a depth of 30 meters (98 ft). It formed when the Soviets were investigating a natural gas field in Derwezeen. Due to the mining, the gas field collapsed into an underground cavern, which the geologists then proceeded to light on fire in order to deter the gases from escaping. However, it didn't work quite as planned. This hole has been burning since 1971. It is now a tourist attraction, but careful not to fall in!

The Indiana Jones National Park also boasts some frightening holes. Only discovered recently, the sand dunes in the park are extremely dangerous, as shifting sands have opened up massive sinkholes. The quicksand even took the life of a six year old, who was swallowed under 11 feet of sand. The park remains indefinitely closed until geologists are able to determine the cause of the sinkholes.

Can you imagine finding a mysterious hole while building an addition onto your house, only to discover that the hole leads to an intricate cave system that used to house up to 20,000 people? Called Derinkuyu, the cave system is located in Central Turkey and was carved out of the underground rock over 3,000 years ago. The caves included built-in ventilation shafts and running water. It is thought that people used to live in the caves with their livestock for months at a time to take refuge. To see more crazy holes, watch the video!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
NOV 08, 2018
Videos
NOV 08, 2018
Will There Ever be a Cure for the Common Cold?
Will There Ever be a Cure for the Common Cold? Well, one of the reasons why the common cold is not being cured—is it’s so difficult to attack a...
NOV 22, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 22, 2018
Why Are Dandelion Seeds So Good at "Flying"?
The seeds of dandelions, pesky and irritating as they are, bear an extraordinary aerodynamic property that allows them to be carried far by the wind. In co...
DEC 03, 2018
Cancer
DEC 03, 2018
Using bubbly nano-particles for chemotherapy delivery
We have all heard about the harsh side effects of chemotherapy that could be so difficult leading to stopping treatment. The reason behind those side effects is that chemotherapy drugs do tar...
DEC 12, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 12, 2018
Tooth-rejuvenating Hydrogels as Alternative to Root Canal Therapy
When the tooth's pulp has a baterial infection, the sensitive nerve endings can become painfully inflamed. Root canal therapy, also known as the endodo...
DEC 12, 2018
Health & Medicine
DEC 12, 2018
Let it All Out - Swearing is Healthy for You
Lalochezia is an emotional relief obtained by spewing vulgar language, and science suggests that swearing regularly could be good for your overall health a...
DEC 12, 2018
Videos
DEC 12, 2018
Why Don't We Clone Extinct or Endangered Animals?
While estimates about the number of species that go extinct vary widely, one thing is certain: we can list many animals that have gone extinct....
Loading Comments...