From the center of the Karakum desert in Asia, a massive crater dubbed the “Door to Hell,” has been spewing flames for more than 40 years.
The ceaseless fire, which can be seen for miles in the distance, is not a natural phenomena. It’s the result of a Soviet drilling rig accident in 1971.
“Darvaza is a monument to Soviet imperial failure, a roiling wound of failed engineering,” Krasowski said.
The adventurer was kind of enough to share some photos with us.
The gas crater, dubbed the 'Door to Hell' by locals, is located in the middle of the Karakum Desert in the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan. Afghanistan sits to the southeast and Iran to the southwest.
Turkmenistan has the fourth largest reserves of natural gas in the world, producing about 75 billion cubic meters of gas each year.
To prevent methane from escaping, the geologists set the cave on fire hoping it would burn off the excess gas in a few days.
Krasowski, shown here, visited the gas crater in 2009. He poetically described it as the 'greatest campfire in the world.'
'Peaceful nights can be spent under the stars, basking in its warmth. But as sun set on my visit, a sandstorm kicked up that tore apart our tents and sent us fleeing through the desert for the shelter of a village, visibility near zero, hoping no camels would cross our path,' Krasowski said of his trip.
Unfortunately, the methane-emitting cave is making it difficult to drill nearby gas fields, hindering Turkmenistan's plans to triple its production.
In 2010, Turkmenistan president Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov 'ordered local authorities to look for ways to get rid of it,' Bloomberg reported.
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