Darwaze Crater a.k.a “Door to Hell”
Before you read the complete article be assured that the image below is not from a sci-fi movie or a touched up image from Photoshop. The picture is 100% real and is in Turkmenistan.
The Door to Hell is a natural gas field in Derweze (also spelled Darvaze, meaning “gate”), Ahal Province, Turkmenistan. The field is situated near the Derweze village. It is in the middle of the Karakum Desert, about 260 kilometres (160 mi) north of Ashgabat. The gas reserve found here is one of the largest in the world. The name “Door to Hell” was given to the field by the locals, referring to the fire, boiling mud, and orange flames in the large crater, which has a diameter of 70 metres (230 ft). The hot spots range over an area with a width of 60 metres (200 ft) and to a depth of about 20 metres (66 ft).
What feeds the door to hell?
In 1971, a team of Soviet scientists set up a drilling platform looking for natural gas reserves. The rig collapsed, and fearing the spread of poisonous methane gas, the researchers set the crater on fire hoping it would burn out in a few hours. The problem is they miscalculated the estimates and the filed has been burning ever since.
[inputs from wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Door_to_Hell]