“And they shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever." - The Revelation of Saint John
Ok, so maybe that’s a bit over dramatic but I’ve always loved the Book of Revelation. It’s a fantastic piece of literature. I remember writing an English essay based on it back in secondary school. Being a convent-run establishment you’d have thought it would be safe enough writing about the bible, but apparently the coolest part of the whole book is off limits and they ended up threatening to call the bishop on me! Well, I suppose it was only one of the teachers who really got her knickers in a twist about it and she was always a bit nutty. But anyway, I digress. I’m supposed to be talking about these bloody great shots from John H Bradley.
They’re of a crater in the middle of the Karakum dessert in Turkmenistan known as The Burning Gates. It also goes by the rather less apocalyptic title of The Darvaza Gas Crater. And, no, it’s not some optical illusion. It’s actually the result of a Soviet gas mining accident back in the 50s. Shortly after the mishap the cavity was set alight and it’s been burning ever since. Apparently the glow can be seen and the sulphur smelt for miles. Imagine the yarns the folks round there would be able to spin you!
Anyhow, I thoroughly recommend a wee visit to Mr Bradley’s website. It’s like touring the world from the comfort of your own armchair. And, yes, I do realise that’s a lazy attitude but as I’ve got older my tastes have become more refined and I’m going to wait till I win the lotto before I head off globetrotting myself. Well that or start a drug empire. How else will I be able to pay for all those fancy hotels?