The Gates of Hell, Derweze, Turkmenistan"If Atlas Obscura has a mascot, it might be the Gates of Hell. This 200-foot hole in the desert was created in 1971 when a Soviet drilling rig fell into a massive natural cavern. The scientists decided it was best to let the natural gas leaking from the hole burn itself off, so they lit it on fire. It has been burning for 45 years." #refinery29 http://www.refinery29.uk/2016/09/124048/atlas-obscura-book#slide-2
Derweze, also known as the door to hell, is a 70 meter wide hole in the middle of the Karakum desert in Turkmenistan. The hole was formed in 1971 when a team of soviet geologists had their drilling rig collapse when they hit a cavern filled with natural gas. In an attempt to avoid poisonous discharge, they decided to burn it off, thinking that the gas would be depleted in only a few days. Derweze is still burning today. Wow - wish I saw this when I was briefly there...
28 Incredibly Beautiful Places You Won't Believe Actually Exist
Door to Hell, Turkmenistan A natural gas field in Derweze, Turkmenistan has earned the nickname “Door to Hell”, and for good reason: this pit in the middle of a barren plain has been burning continuously for nearly four decades. It’s frightening and awe-inspiring, and visitors can walk up to the rim and peer into its blazing core. Not surprisingly, the effect is best at night, when the pit lights up the black sky.