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Crater of Fire Facts

George Kourounis preparing enter the crater.

George Kourounis preparing enter the crater. (View larger version)

Photograph by Jason Feirst/ PSG Films

  • A mine fire in Centralia, Pennsylvania was started in 1962 and continues to burn beneath the soil, turning the once heavily populated city into a ghost town.

  • Asgabat, Turkmenistan is in the Guinness Book of World Records for having more white marble on its buildings than any other city in the world.

  • The crater was named, “The Door to Hell” by locals, referring to the endless flames and boiling mud that can be found inside. The flames generate a golden glow, which can be seen for miles around Derweze, a village with a population of about 350.

  • The Soviet Union dissolved on Christmas day in 1991. By then, 14 out of 15 Soviet republics had seceded from the USSR, prompting Russia’s president Gorbachev to resign.

  • In 2007, the European Space Agency deliberately launched microorganisms on a Foton-M3 spacecraft and exposed them to the harsh vacuum of space. The life forms survived.

  • The hottest temperature a living organism can survive for two hours at 130 degrees Celsius (266 degrees Fahrenheit). This microbe is unofficially called Strain 121 and was discovered in the ocean’s depths in 2003.