Not Quite Where We Thought It Was

by Joshua Foust on 3/26/2008 · 1 comment

English Russia has posted some beautiful, and most likely stolen, photos of Darvaza, the eternal burning pit of fire in created in 1973 in Uzbekistan. What? You thought it was in Turkmenistan, and around since the 50s? Well, not according to them. But it is in fact really in Turkmenistan, and it really has been burning for 50 years. Last year, on his epic tracing of the Silk Road, Joshua Kucera wrote a post on the place:

Apparently animals find it mesmerizing, as well. I heard that there is a time of year when spiders run, in the thousands, into the crater like lemmings. I didn’t see that, but I did see moths literally drawn to the flame. The light was so bright that it illuminated even these little moths so well that at first I thought they were birds. After a few seconds flitting above the crater, though, they would suddenly stop flapping their wings and plummet into the fire. I did see some birds do roughly the same thing, as well, and hawks would also hunt the smaller birds that were flying over the crater, making this definitely the hub of animal life in the desert.


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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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{ 1 comment }

Awesomeo March 26, 2008 at 9:19 am

I only hope that one day I can make something so wasteful and so beautiful by accident.

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