Go to Hell! Explorer dips down into ‘Pit of Fire’

Go to Hell!  Explorer dips down into ‘Pit of Fire’

Explorer George Kourounis decided that watching a pit of fire from a distance was not his cup of tea.  Instead, the man put on a heat suit and dove into the pit to explore it first hand.

pit of fire

“A world-renowned explorer has become the first person to descend into The Door to Hell – a flame pit in Turkmenistan that has burned for more than 40 years.

Spectacular images have been released of George Kourounis, 44, rappelling 100ft down into the crater amid 1,000C temperatures and walking across its surface.

The Canadian was part of the first-ever expedition into the flame pit, located in remote Turkmenistan, which is named the ‘Door to Hell’.

The bizarre landmark – officially called The Darvaza Crater – has been alight for more than 40 years after a drilling accident caused Soviet scientists to set it on fire to burn off excess gas.

When Mr Kourounis, from Toronto, Canada, heard a rumour the Turkmenistan government was planning to extinguish the flames, he decided to up his efforts to visit the location.

In the past he has taken on volcanoes and revealed his aim, as well as to walk on the surface of the fire pit, was to collect samples of dirt to be analysed.

He completed the challenge in the winter of 2013 and it was later discovered bacteria was present, despite the hot, methane-rich environment.

Newly-released images capture him dangling precariously above the crater wearing a heat-reflective suit, breathing apparatus and a custom-made Kevlar harness.

He would stay in the crater for around 15 minutes before being pulled out by the rigging team.

He said: ‘Since this was something nobody had ever done before there was a lot of uncertainty and questions. How hot was it at the bottom? Is the air breathable? Will the ropes survive? What if something goes wrong?

‘Nobody knew the answers – not even me. When I actually set foot at the bottom it was an overwhelming feeling.

‘I was in a spot where no human had ever been. It was like stepping onto an alien planet – more people have been on the moon. It was exciting, adventurous, dangerous, a world first and a contribution to science.

‘The expedition had everything I love.’

Please add this to the list of ‘Crap I am Never Going To Do’.

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