Terrifying ‘Mouth of Hell’ crater that’s burned for 50 years to be closed

Don’t miss a thing by getting the Daily Star’s biggest headlines straight to your inbox!

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the totalitarian president of Turkmenistan, has announced that he plans to close the nation's notorious ‘Mouth of Hell’.

The former dentist has ordered his ministers to find world experts who can seal off the giant crater that has been burning for half a century.

The methane gas-belching sinkhole Darvaza has been ablaze since Soviet scientists ignited it in 1971.

The scary 230ft-wide crater – permanently on fire – can be seen from miles around.

It is known as the ‘Gates of Hell’ or ‘Mouth of Hell’, and is located in the Karakum Desert, about 160 miles north of the isolated country’s capital city Ashgabat.

The eccentric Berdimuhamedov – notorious for human rights abuses and crushing any opposition – has ordered officials to stop the environmental damage caused by the constant blaze.

The health of locals is being hit by the decades-long fire, he warned.

Profit should be made from the gas supply to help his six million people, mostly impoverished.

“We are creating – and will continue to create – all necessary conditions for the development of the colossal hydrocarbon resources of our independent Motherland, in the interests of our people,” he said, explaining his decision to stop the inferno.

  • Turkmenistan's president unveils bizarre 50ft golden statue of his favourite dog

Berdimuhamedov, 64, has previously erected a giant 68ft gold leaf statue to himself, and another to Turkmenistan’s most famous dog.

He writes rap songs, is a keen DJ, and takes part in classic car, horse and cycle races which he invariably wins because his people are too scared to beat him.

Berdimuhamedov has been in power for 16 years. Under his control, Turkmenistan has developed a growing reputation for corruption and human rights abuses. One source said that in Turkmenistan "corruption is a way of life, and the higher up you go, the bigger the theft gets." In 2016, Berdimuhamedow was re-elected to his second term with 97% of the vote.

  • Gateway to HELL: Creepy crater has been BURNING for 40 years

The 70ft deep crater ignited when bungling Soviet scientists aimed to tap natural gas in the area.

The upper layers of soil collapsed into an underground cave, opening a large hole filled with gas.

To avoid gas poisoning local people and livestock, geologists ignited it. They believed the fire would subside within weeks, but it's still burning today.

In November 2013, it was found by Canadian explorer George Kourounis that unique bacteria are surviving at the bottom of the crater despite the hellish temperatures.

The crater has become one of Turkmenistan’s main tourist attractions but, it's also a cause of environmental blight.

Turkmenistan possesses the world's fourth-largest reserves of natural gas, and also has a grim reputation for the widespread illegal adoption of abandoned babies.

  • Fire

Source: Read Full Article