Darvaza, the gates of hell or a collective hallucination?
None of them. It’s a natural wonder. Located in the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan, Darvaza is a massive crater that measures around 230 feet wide and 98 feet deep. But what makes it so unique is the fact that it’s been burning for over 50 years. It’s a fiery pit that looks like something straight out of a sci-fi movie.
Here’s the story.
Back in 1971, a group of Soviet geologists accidentally drilled into a massive underground cavern filled with natural gas. The ground collapsed beneath them, and the drilling rig, along with all their equipment, fell into the newly formed crater. Fearing that the gas would escape and harm nearby villages, the geologists decided to set the gas on fire, thinking it would only burn for a few days.
Instead, the fire has been burning non-stop for over half a century, creating an otherworldly landscape that looks like something out of a post-apocalyptic movie. The flames dance and flicker, illuminating the night sky and casting an eerie glow over the surrounding desert.
The best time to visit is at night: imagine standing there in the darkness, watching the glowing pit as the flames reach towards the sky.