September 27, 2020

Carolyn Drake, Darvaza, Turkmenistan, 2009

One of the world’s great mysteries, the Darvaza Crater or “Door to Hell” in Turkmenistan is said to have occurred some fifty years ago when the ground above a Soviet drilling rig gave way to form a sink hole. The story goes that the scientists involved suggested that the hole be set alight to burn off any noxious gases, thereby starting a contained fire which continues to burn to this day—an extraordinary sight amid an otherwise stark landscape, as evidenced in this beautiful photograph by Carolyn Drake.

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