The “Door to Hell” is a natural gas field in Derweze, Turkmenistan, that collapsed into an underground cavern in 1971, becoming a natural gas crater. The field is in the middle of the Karakum Desert, about 260 kilometres (160 mi) north of Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan.
Soviet Geologists set it on fire to prevent the spread of methane gas, and it has been burning continuously since then. The gas reserve found here is one of the largest in the world. The name “Door to Hell” was given to the field by the locals, referring to the fire, boiling mud, and orange flames in the large crater, which has a diameter of 70 metres (230 ft).
Turkmenistan’s natural gas reserves rank fifth in the world, but a lack of international pipelines has hampered development efforts.