“Door to Hell” — The Darvaza Gas Crater
This huge burning crater is found in the middle of the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan. Reports vary as to when and how this crater was created, but most say that it happened in the early 1970’s when a rig drilling for gas hit a giant underground gas-filled cavern which then collapsed. The gas was then purposely ignited to burn it off rather than let it escape to the atmosphere. Some reports claim that this incident happened as early as the 1960’s or 1970’s. Interestingly enough, there is also a similar mud crater and a water crater in the area also supposedly caused by industrial accidents. The fact that they all were made in the Soviet era means that the actual truth behind these craters will probably never be known.