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Watch: This hellish crater has been burning for almost 50 years -- the reason why is surprising

Digital Shorts

The Darvaza gas crater, located in the middle of the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan, is a 98-foot deep fiery inferno which is known locally as the 'Door to Hell.'  The massive natural gas reserve has been burning for almost 50 years, but how did it get there? In 1971, a group of Soviet geologists traveled to the Karakum Desert in search of oil. They came across the crater and decided it was a good place to drill, but soon the whole thing collapsed and begin to emit dangerous gases.

To stop the gas, the geologists decided it would be a good idea to set the crater on fire. It was expected that all the natural gas would burn off in a matter of weeks. Nearly a half-century later, the fiery chasm rages on. The Darvaza crater might have been the largest source of natural gas on the planet. Instead, it has become a popular destination for daredevils and thrill-seekers from around the world.

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