Instagrammers Visit Turkmenistan’s “Door to Hell”

To see more photos, browse the Derweze - Door to Hell at Karakum Desert location page and the #darvaza hashtag.

In the heart of the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan lies “The Door to Hell,” a giant hole filled with eternally-burning fire. While drilling in 1971, Soviet geologists tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas and it collapsed beneath their drilling rig, leaving a hole 70 meters (230 feet) in diameter and 20 meters (65 feet) deep. In an attempt to prevent the cavern’s poisonous gas from being released into the atmosphere, scientists decided to light it on fire and burn off the fumes. The gas is still burning today—40 years later—and a few brave Instagrammers have made the trek to the deposit to witness and document it in person.