Darvasa Gas Crater, the “Gate to Hell” (Turkmenistan)

Darvaza-Gas-Crater-Gate-of-Hell-Turkmenistan“There are places on Earth that are a little creepy, places that feel a little haunted and places that are downright hellish. The Darvaza gas crater, nicknamed by locals ‘The Door to Hell,’ or “The Gates of Hell,” definitely falls into the latter category—and its sinister burning flames are just the half of it. Located in the Karakum Desert of central Turkmenistan (a little over 150 miles from the country’s capital) the pit attracts hundreds of tourists each year. It also attracts nearby desert wildlife—reportedly, from time to time local spiders are seen plunging into the pit by the thousands, lured to their deaths by the glowing flames.” — Natasha Geiling, Smithsonian.com (May 20, 2014)