There are several places around the world that locals believe are a door to hell. Endless catacombs beneath the city of Paris, France for example or Dimmuborgir lava formations in Iceland. When it comes to sheer jaw-dropping effect, however, The Door to Hell by Darvaza in Turkmenistan takes the cake.
The Derweze area is rich in natural gas. While drilling in 1971, Soviet geologists tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas. The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of 70 metres (230 ft) at . To avoid poisonous gas discharge, it was decided the best solution was burn it off. Geologists had hoped the fire would use all the fuel in a matter of days, but the gas is still burning today. Locals have dubbed the cavern "The Door to Hell".
Next to capturing the gas, flaring is safer and friendlier to the environment than releasing the methane into the atmosphere, as methane is a relatively potent greenhouse gas and considered to have a high global warming potential of 72 (averaged over 20 years) or 25 (averaged over 100 years).
Turkmenistan plans to increase its production of natural gas. In April 2010, the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow visited the site and ordered that the hole should be closed, or measures be taken to limit its influence on the development of other natural gas fields in the area.
The locals from Darvaza have given the burning crater a name that suits it well – The Door to Hell. And everyone who visits Darvaza agrees with the name and finds it appropriate. When you look inside the burning gas crater, you do feel like this is what the door to hell would look like. No one dared to enter the chamber when it was first discovered and no one has dared there since. After all, everyone knows what kind of path a door o hell takes you. And it’s not the path anyone would voluntarily want to embark on. Seeing the door to hell with your own eyes, however is an experience like no other. You will have long stayed in awe after experiencing the viciousness of the fire within the gorge of the burning crater. The Door to Hell would be an amazing vacation experience for the adventurous wonderers. This is a vacation idea that your mainstream tour operators don’t know about. And that’s the beauty of it.