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Offbeat Traveler: Darvaza, Turkmenistan

In the Karakum Desert in northern Turkmenistan, a fiery pit has burned since at least the 1970s. The burning crater, called the "Gates of Hell" by some locals, was formed by accident. Engineers who were drilling for natural gas had stumbled upon a cavern with gas emanating from it. To contain the potentially harmful gas' release, they set it ablaze, hoping it would burn out in a few days.
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