Door to Hell, The Burning Crater of Turkmenistan
In 1971 a group of Soviet Scientists uncovered an amazing natural gas find. The ground collapsed around the find pouring gas into the air. In an attempt to stop the field from causing major damage, the Soviet Scientists followed the accepted procedure of the time and lit it on fire. They anticipated a burn of a few hours or days, but instead the world has watched on as the crater has continued to burn for over 40 years. 24 hours per day, this crater stay alight with burning gas in an incredible display of light, and a more horrific loss of a natural resource. The small city of Derweze in the Karakum Desert has watched on as the crater has grown in size and continued to light the night. The eerie looking site has become known as the Door To Hell, due to its non-stop flames.
The Door to Hell is open to tourists, but do not expect a luxury vacation. This amazing site is in the true nomad’s lands of Turkmenistan.
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Image credits: Martha de Jong-Lantink