The Oxus: LAND OF MYSTERIES, LOL

by Joshua Foust on 7/28/2009 · 6 comments

Isn’t it great how Darvaza is like the best trope ever to make Central Asia look ++mysterious and scary?

Anyway, I’d like to see the whole thing.


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– 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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{ 6 comments }

Christian July 28, 2009 at 9:00 pm

“Source of Oxus remains undetermined to this day!” Brilliant. Opportunity for adventure. Huzzah.

michaelhancock July 29, 2009 at 8:47 am

This video is pretty standard for the air of ridiculousness that comes from lack of experience, right? I mean, the over-the-top announcer – it’s like he’s talking about the moon.

And Darvaza is not a mystery, nor would the Ancient Greeks [Macedonians? Greco-Bactrians?] know it, since it didn’t ignite till the Commies f’ed up in the 80s [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derweze]

michaelhancock July 29, 2009 at 8:57 am

“Has climate change in fact changed civilization?” … [And does this voice-over over the Darvaza gas crater have ANYTHING to do with this man’s premise? At all? Or is it a little Hollywood?]

Grrr… the worst part is how much money was clearly spent here. I guess I’ve become too academic.

Transitionland July 30, 2009 at 12:53 am

I’m not sure the best image for Central Asia (or Central Asians) is “lost” civilizations + Afghan war + scary pits of fire + oh look, pretty Turkmen girls in their exotic traditional dresses.

: /

EJT July 30, 2009 at 4:21 am

Yeah, if you check the guy’s website, it’s clear that he is trying to Indiana Jones-ify every place he visits or phenomenon he addresses . . . Tkm may see a tourism spike if this thing gets aired, though, as even I thought the place looked neato after watching the clip . . . and I already lived there for 6 years!

iact July 30, 2009 at 4:24 am

Yeah, if you check the guy’s website, it’s clear that he is trying to Indiana Jones-ify every place he visits or phenomenon he addresses . . . Tkm may see a tourism spike if this thing gets aired, though, as even I thought the place looked super-neato (myserious/exotic) after watching the clip . . . and I already lived there for 6 years!

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