Scientists Zipline Over The Door To Hell To Study Microbes

Jurassic Park wasn’t just being cheesy when it said that “life finds a way.” They damn well meant it; life finds a way to live no matter what. Which brings these microbiologists to a place in Turkmenistan lovingly known as The Door To Hell.

The Door To Hell was created by the Soviets in 1971, who lit a natural gas deposit on fire mostly to see what would happen. What happens is you have a terrifying flaming crater! Anyway, it’s one of the most extreme environments on Earth, which led some scientists to wonder if some bacteria were living down there.

It’s not as weird as you might think. Tiny organisms can survive anything; in fact, they can learn to eat uranium. The question was, were there any down there? So they did what a sane person would do, and ziplined across the Door to Hell to take a look. It’s exactly as terrifying as it sounds:

And yes, he had to figure out how to go down into the crater to collect samples. It kind of puts your job in perspective, huh? Just to make this more awesome, this research is being done to help determine where we might find and study extraterrestrial life. Yes, this guy gets to perform extreme sports and play with fire to find aliens. Suddenly, getting your doctorate seems a whole lot more interesting.