The Darvaza gas crater, also known as ‘The Door to Hell’ and ‘The Crater of Fire’, is a jaw-dropping man-made natural phenomenon in the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan.
“Man-made natural phenomenon” might sound like a contradiction, but hear us out.
As explained in a new video from YouTube channel SciShow, in 1971 Soviet scientists began explored the Karakum desert search of oil and gas.
No one really knows what followed, there have been no official public reports on the matter, but it is currently thought that the enthusiastic scientists, having found oil and gas, began to drill immediately.
They had stumbled on a cavern and created a sinkhole more than 60 metres in diameter and 20 metres deep.
This released a lot of methane, which the scientists presumably decided to burn off, thinking it would only take a few weeks.
It is still alight to this day, and has a terrible eggy smell because of the hydrogen sulphide in the ground.
It’s a popular tourist spot these days, because, well, it’s a big burning crater of fire.