The Gates of Hell or the Door to Hell, also known as the Darvaza crater, is a 69-metre-wide crater in Turkmenistan leaking natural gas which has been burning endlessly for more than 40 years!

In 1971, Soviet engineers whilst drilling in what they thought was an oil field discovery, experienced a cave-in of the ground at the site which turned out to be a natural gas pocket, resulting in the formation of the crater.

The engineers thought to prevent the gas from spreading to nearby villages by lighting it up, estimating that it would burn out within some weeks.

The gas is still burning!


Well, maybe that’s not so bad. The eerie crater makes for a good tourist attraction and a place to take some classy Instagram photos – especially if you’re young.


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