A drilling accident in 1971 in Turkmenistan’s Karakum Desert created this 70 meter-wide crater, when a Soviet rig hit a cavernous pocket of natural gas.
The landmark, dubbed the “Door to Hell” by the locals has been continuously burning since, fueled by subterranean gas deposits. It’s now a local tourist attraction:
“Small roadside teahouses, known as chaikhanas, offer food and accommodation, with many also selling petrol and other supplies. Local families – who mostly eke out a living shepherding flocks in the area, and have yurts positioned close to the roads – also take in guests, and act as guides for the three-hour hike across the dunes to the crater.”