Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Portal to The Underworld?

“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?


4 comments:

The Pixie Knoll said...

Roisin,
You have such a wonderful sense of humor! You always have some of the most magnificent finds on the internet. These pictures are amazing. I would have never thought they were from a mining accident. My next travel destination is to Mr. Bradley's website in the comfort of my armchair. muahahahhaaha

Good to see you friend!

Hugs,
Lori

JJ Beazley said...

The bits I like best are '...calling the bishop on me' (what an absolute hoot, you rebel, you)and 'as I've got older...'

I love your posts. Lori is right about the sense of humour. Good pics, too.

Next.

The word verification is 'woopti.' How cute.

notRuairi said...

This guy is an amazing photographer. His Asian photos are particularly moving - the Afghan shooting up or the guy spitting the beetle nut are both stunning. They're all stunning! But those fields... wow... Ithey remind me of the Naga fireballs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naga_fireballs

Róisín said...

Pixie and JJ- Aw, thank you two both so much. You are very sweet.

Ruairi- I'd never seen anything about those Naga fireballs before but, wow, they're beautiful. They kinda remind me of a phenomenon round these parts called 'The Rockytown Light', which was our version of Willow The Wisp. They were able to prove that the light was being caused by phospherous coming out of rocks in the area. At any rate, it hasn't appeared in many years after houses were built on the land. It's just so typically Irish, find something cool or beautiful and build a housing estate on top of it.

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