Underground Fires that Burn For DecadesS

Sometimes a fire just won't go out. Uzbekistan is home to a place called Darvaz, nicknamed by locals "the door to hell." It's a semi-underground gas fire that's been burning nonstop for 35 years. Find out why, and see some close-up pictures of this hellmouth after the jump, plus another fire in Pennsylvania that has also been burning underground for over 30 years.

English Russia explains in a way that totally sounds like it could be dialog ripped from Alias:

The story of this place lasts already for 35 years. Once the geologists were drilling for gas. Then suddenly during the drilling they have found an underground cavern, it was so big that all the drilling site with all the equipment and camps got deep deep under the ground. None dared to go down there because the cavern was filled with gas. So they ignited it so that no poisonous gas could come out of the hole, and since then, it's burning, already for 35 years without any pause.

Underground Fires that Burn For DecadesS

Underground Fires that Burn For DecadesS



In the city of Centralia, Pennsylvania, locals accidentally ignited a huge coal mine that snaked underneath the town. Nobody knows for sure how or when it started, but many believe it was due to people burning rubbish near the entrance to the closed mine. Though many tried to put it out, the fire raged for most of the 1960s and some of the 1970s when the ground started collapsing and the roads began to buckle, like in this picture. A gas station owner discovered that the temperature in his underground tanks was hot enough to be extremely dangerous.

Underground Fires that Burn For DecadesS



So the town was evacuated, and only a handful of holdouts live there still. Centralia's zip code has been rescinded, and the highway now routes around it. It's a ghost town. A ghost town that's still on fire.

Door to Hell (plus crazy video!) [English Russia]

The Burning Remains of Centralia [Damn Interesting] (Thanks, Wishnevsky!)