The Door to Hell: natural gas field in Turkmenistan burning since 1971
The Door to Hell is a natural gas field in Derweze ( Darweze meaning gate), Ahal Province, Turkmenistan. The Door to Hell is a 70 meter wide crater known for its natural gas fire which has been burning continuously since it was lit by Soviet geologists in 1971, they were drilling at the site in 1971 and found a carter filled with natural gas. Fearing that the hole would release poisonous gases in future, the geologists team decided to burn it off, hoping it would burn out in a couple of days, but the gas is still burning today.
The hole is located in Derweze village, in the middle of the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan. a golden glow generated by flames can be seen for miles around Derweze, a village with a population of about 350 and the pungent smell of burning sulfur and other gases pervades the area for some distance.