The Darvaza Crater, often known as “The Gates of Hell,” is a molten gas crater that has been spouting flames for decades. According to legend, Soviet geologists were drilling for oil in the desert in 1971 when they discovered a natural gas deposit. The earth collapsed, as a result, generating three enormous sinkholes. Geologists allegedly lit one of them on fire to stop methane from spilling into the air, expecting it would go out in a short period. Wide-eyed adventurers from near and far have flocked to see this spectacular colosseum of fire light up the desert sky for much of the past decade as the sun sets below the Karakum’s sea of dunes.
The Crossroads of Special Operations