The Door to Hell - Turkmenistan
The Door to Hell was originally a gas field set alight by Soviet scientists that has been burning continuously for over 40 years. Inexplicably, spiders seem to love this place and swarm there by the thousands.
According to Turkmen geologist Anatoly Bushmakin, the site was identified by Soviet engineers in 1971. It was originally thought to be a substantial oil field site. The engineers set up a drilling rig and operations to assess the quantity of oil available at the site. Soon after the preliminary survey found a natural gas pocket, the ground beneath the drilling rig and camp collapsed into a wide crater and was buried.
Expecting dangerous releases of poisonous gases from the cavern into nearby towns, the engineers thought it best to burn the gas off. Estimated that the gas would burn out within a few weeks, the gas has instead continued to burn for more than four decades.
In April 2010, the president of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, visited the site and ordered that the hole should be closed. In 2013, he declared the part of the Karakum Desert with the crater a nature reserve.
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