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On Fire in Turkmenistan

By Linda Tancs

The Russians caused an infernal mess when they drilled for natural gas in Turkmenistan’s Karakum Desert in the 1970s. A rig collapsed, resulting in a crater 200 feet wide and 70 feet deep (known locally as the Door to Hell) that continues to burn for over 40 years now. Well, maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing after all, considering that the site has become a hot (pardon the pun) tourist attraction. Located 160 miles from the capital Ashgabat, you can hire a guide to get you there.

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