The “Gateway to Hell” may soon close.
The Darvaza Natural Gas Crater is a vast, fiery pit, measuring almost 200-feet wide and 65-feet deep.
For the past 50 years, it’s been smoldering away in the middle of the Karakum desert in the central Asian country of Turkmenistan.
The crater was formed when a natural gas pocket collapsed into a cavern in the early ‘70s.
Soviet-era workers may have had some hand in its formation, though there is some dispute around that. The crater’s flames are fueled by natural gas.
And though the so-called “Gateway to Hell” is something of a tourist attraction, all that burning fossil fuel is not good for the environment.
Geologists from Turkmenistan, with some help from colleagues in Slovenia and Belarus, are preparing to seal off the so-called gateway.