Inspired Travel: Darvaza Door to Hell

by  Amanda Black | Apr 12, 2013
Darvaza Door to Hell, Turkmenistan
Darvaza Door to Hell, Turkmenistan / Iwanami_Photos/iStock

Derweze in Turkmen language, meaning the gate, or more commonly known as Darvaza, is located in the middle of the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan. Back in 1971, geologists were drilling into the earth (the area is rich with natural gas) and the ground beneath the rig collapsed resulting in a large hole of about 230 feet in diameter. In order to avoid dangerous poisonous gas discharge, the crater was set on fire with the expectation that it would burn off in a matter of days.

It's been over 40 years since then and the fiery pit is still burning. Because of it, many locals have dubbed the natural gas cavern 'The Door to Hell.'

For an extra spooky factor, the best time to view the crater is at night, when you can see the hole glowing from miles away.

Two other similar gas craters are nearby but neither are on fire. In fact, one is actually filled with water, also preventing crews from drilling.

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