In the hot, expansive Karakum desert in Turkmenistan, near the 350-person village of Darvaza, is a hole 230 feet wide that has been on fire for over 40 years.
Though technically called the Darvaza gas crater, locals know the crater as “The Gates of Hell.” Its fiery glow can be seen for miles around.
The Gates of Hell crater was created in 1971 when a Soviet drilling rig accidentally punched into a massive underground natural gas cavern, causing the ground to collapse and the entire drilling rig to fall in. Having punctured a pocket of gas, poisonous fumes began leaking at an alarming rate.
To head off a potential environmental catastrophe, the Soviets set the hole alight, figuring it would stop burning within a few weeks. Decades later, and the fiery pit is still going strong. The Soviet drilling rig is believed to still be down there somewhere, on the other side of the “Gates of Hell.”
Even though it’s still burning till this day people still love going to visit the amazing site. Even if it is called the Gates of Hell, they don’t really seem too scared. I don’t know if I’d get too close but I would like to know why the hell it’s still burning after all this time.