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Derweze_ The gates of Hell

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Derweze is a small village in northern Turkmenistan. Located in the middle of the desert and with a population of only 350, it doesn?t make for a popular tourist destination. That goes double once you realize that Derweze is the location of the Door To Hell?a 70 meter wide hole in the earth that has been burning for over 40 years.

In 1971, a team of geologists accidentally broke through the surface into a massive underground cavern, which proceeded to cave in and swallow the drilling rig. Worried that the cave was releasing dangerous gases, the geologists lit it on fire to burn off the gases. Sure enough, it caught fire?and then never went out. The crater rests atop an underground field of natural gas, and it has kept the fire burning for nearly half a century.


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