In the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan lies the Door to Hell, a burning pool of lava which looks exactly like the gateway to hell that we imagine – red hot, steamy, scary, and out of nowhere.
This was originally thought to be a substantial oil field site by Soviet engineers as they set up a drilling rig and operations to assess the quantity of oil available at the site. However, they found gas instead. And before they knew it, the ground beneath the drilling rig and camp collapsed into a wide crater and disappeared.
The engineers thought that it was best to burn the gas off and it was estimated that the gas would burn out within a few weeks. It has instead continued to burn for more than four decades.