You may not have heard of Turkmenistan,but over 160 miles away from its capital city of Ashkabat,in the Karakum Desert near the Derweze village,lies an incredible and unique place known as…
The Door To Hell.
Yeah, it’s a pretty dramatic name, but the spectacle lives up to it.Pretty standard, right?
Properly called the Darvaza Crater, it isn’t actually the devil’s doorstep, despite appearances.
While the feature might look like something from another planet, there’s actually a pretty simple explanation for why this 230 feet wide hole continues to burn and light up the night sky.
In 1971, a team of Soviet engineers identified the site for oil drilling and an oil rig was dug at the site. Soon, the engineers realized it was not oil but natural gas that was present underneath and the escape of gas triggered a collapse of the drilling rig and camp into an underground cavern.
To prevent the toxic gases from escaping into the nearby towns and villages causing perils to human health there, the geologists decided the best thing to do was light the crater on fire to burn off its poisonous methane gas, but things didn’t go as planned, and the fire is still burning today, even though the country’s president ordered it to be filled in 2010.
The Soviets opened the Door to Hell, and 45 years later that door is still open.
The fire persists, giving the world one of the most strikingly beautiful features that you could consider both man-made and natural at the same time.
The area has become something of a tourist hotspot in recent years,but only a few tourists visit the Door to Hell as the country is still one of the most isolated countries in the world.
Currently the enormous fire pit is not fenced and tourists often approach dangerously close to the edges of the pit. The ground near the edges being unstable poses significant threat to the lives of these irresponsible tourists. Still, the “Door to Hell” continues to inspire the awe of all and will continue to do so till the fire dies down or the pit is closed by the authorities.