By Anupum Pant
For more than 40 years now, a 250 feet hole in the ground in Turkmenistan has remained glowing with a yellow-orange flame. They call it the door to hell.
It started in the year 1971 when soviet scientists set up a rig to extract natural gas at that place, and the rig collapsed. When that happened, the scientists feared the spread of huge amounts of methane gas, and set the place on fire. They estimated that the fire would go out in a couple of hours. But it lasted, and has lasted for more than 40 years. The fire in it is still burning strong.
The hole is in a very isolated place and it’s hard to find directions to reach it. It is still a tourist place and locals do know how to reach it.
The huge blasts of hot air, and the pungent gases that emanate from the pit make it hard to stand at the edge, but mesmerized by its view people still do it.