In an odd story, Turkmenistan’s brutal dictator, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, has ordered the government to find a way to close down the methane belching 230-foot Darvaza crater that has been on fire since the early seventies.
The Daily Mail reports that the crater, known as the ‘mouth of hell’ or the ‘gates of hell,’ was created by bungling Soviet engineers who were searching for natural gas reserves in the area.
Their efforts resulted in the upper soil imploding into an underground, 70′ cavern filled with methane gas, which was eventually lit to prevent the gas from poisoning people in nearby villages.
The president had previously ordered the fire put out in 2010, but that attempt was unsuccessful.
Berdimuhamedov, a former dentist, is considered one of the most brutal dictators in the world. Despite the country having one of the largest natural gas reserves in the world, its citizens live in absolute poverty.
Yet, Berdimuhamedov apparently found enough money to create a 65-foot gold-leaf statue of himself.
Coincidentally, another notorious dictator, Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar, had also ordered the construction of a massive gold statue, 90′ tall, that he ordered people to bow down to and worship. Since no specific god is associated with the statue, many have wondered if it was actually a likeness of the king (Daniel 3:1).