“Pozo de Darvaza”, the gigantic crater that has been burning in the desert for 50 years

In the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan, near the small town of Darvaza, where some 350 people live, there is a hole 70 meters in diameter that has been burning for more than 50 years.

Although it is technically called Pozo de Darvaza, locals know it as the “Gateway to Hell”. Its fiery glow can be seen from miles away. One of the places destroyed and abandoned by man.

The Darvaza well was created in 1971 when a Soviet drilling rig accidentally drilled into a huge underground natural gas cavern, causing the ground and the entire drilling rig to collapse.

After puncturing a gas pocket, toxic gases began to be released at an alarming rate.

To avoid a possible environmental disaster, the Soviets set the hole on fire, thinking it would stop burning in a few weeks. Decades later, the hearth is still burning, against Soviet expectations.

Surprisingly, despite the name of the crater and the ubiquitous flames, people flock to the desert to visit the place, which has become a tourist site.

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