The gate of hell
Its a natural gas field in Turkmenistan burning since 1971
image source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Darvasa_gas_crater_panorama.jpg
The Gate of Hell is a natural gas field in Derweze ( Darweze meaning gate), Ahal Province, Turkmenistan. The Gate of Hell is a 70 meter wide crater known for its natural gas fire which has been burning continuously since it was lit by Soviet geologists in 1971, they were drilling at the site in 1971 and found a carter filled with natural gas.
Fearing that the hole would release poisonous gases in future, the geologists team decided to burn it off, hoping it would burn out in a couple of days, but the gas is still burning today.
The hole is located in Derweze village, in the middle of the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan. a golden glow generated by flames can be seen for miles around Derweze, a village with a population of about 350 and the pungent smell of burning sulfur and other gases pervades the area for some distance.
The site was identified by Soviet engineers in 1971. It was thought to be a substantial oil field site.The engineers set up a drilling rig and camp nearby, and started drilling operations to assess the quantity of gas reserve available at the site. As the Soviets were pleased with the success of finding the gas resources, they started storing the gas. The ground beneath the drilling rig and camp collapsed into a wide crater and disappeared, however no lives were lost in the incident.
Fearing further release of poisonous gases from the cavern, the engineers decided to burn the gas off.They believed that it would be safer to burn it than to extract it from underground through expensive methods. At that time, expectations were that the gas would burn out within a few weeks, but has continued to burn more than four decades after it was set on fire.
The crater was featured in a Die Trying episode titled Crater of Fire. Explorer George Kourounis became the first person to ever set foot at the bottom, gathering samples ofextremophile microorganisms. The episode was broadcast on the National Geographic Channel on July 16, 2014
source : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyiIBY6GO1Q
Sources : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/, http://youtube.com, http://theguardian.com/