In the middle of the Karakoum (Turkmenistan) desert, close to the disappeared village called Darvaza, there is a crater of about one hundred meters of diameter and more than twenty meters of depth,
called “the hell’s door”.
Inside this well, a fire has been burning for dozens of years, a fire that looks endless.
The Darvaza well is not a work of nature, but the result of an unfortunate soviet mining prospection started in the 50’s.
In 1971, a drilling provoked the collapse of an underground cavity, so revealing a gaping hole leaking enormous quantities of gas.
The geologists decided to torch the well to eliminate such toxic gas. The soviets grossly underestimated the dimensions of the cavity: the gas that should have burned out within a few weeks has actually kept burning without interruption since 1971!
It is unknown for how long “the hell’s door" will keep on burning. Even though the well of Darvaza is located in a region difficult to access, a lot of people gather there to observe this fascinating phenomenon.
The intense heat coming from the crater allows to approach the place only for a few minutes because of the unbearable temperature.
At night the show is Dantean: the fire burns in all its magnificence, giving the well the look of a volcanic burning crater.