The Darvaza Crater, which is the actual name of the ‘Door to Hell’, has sparked the curiosity of many over the years, but George Kourounis became the first to actually step in.
In the desolate landscape of northern Turkmenistan lies a fiery crater that would impress even Dante.
Nobody’s really sure how the gaping hole of fire known as the ‘Door to Hell’ came to be. Some say it was a drilling mishap made worse by attempts to burn off the gas several decades ago.
Whatever it was, the Darvaza Crater has sparked the curiosity of many over the years, including that of George Kourounis.
He recently plunged himself into the mysterious burning pit to see what really goes on down there, making him the first person to dare to do so.
At the top of the list of thing’s he’d hoped to find was life, as such a discovery could provide valuable insights into what may or may not be living on hot, volatile planets.
The endeavor was a success, as bacteria were detected in some of the soil samples he took from the bottom.
He said, “…everywhere you look it's thousands of these small fires. The sound was like that of a jet engine…You feel very, very small and very vulnerable in a place like that.”