Turkmenistan’s Gates of Hell

Above: Photo courtesy of Stefan Krasowski


Flaming hot. Fiery pits of burning angst.


No wonder they named it after the hell-bound.


Nestled within the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan, the blaze is ceaseless.

Molten and red-hot, it’s a stunning sight to behold. It’s almost as if the visitor had teleported himself to another planet in the universe. Tatooine, perhaps?


Above: Photo courtesy of Tormod Sandtorv. Below: Photo courtesy of Stefan Krasowski. 


The burning crater wasn’t a natural phenomenon, though. In 1971, Soviet geologists and engineers had initially identified the area as a possible oil field site. A rig was established and operations continued, until the drill accidentally punctured into a natural gas cavern, causing the ground to collapse and cave in, releasing toxic, methane gas in the process.

In a bid to prevent a major catastrophe, the scientists set the hole on fire. And the Darvaza gas crater has been burning since.

Scorching, blistering, searing. It is a thing of intrigue. Oh for sure, you don’t want to be anywhere near the bottom if that pit. Unless you want an early trip to the underworld realm.

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