Door To Hell near Derweze village in Turkmenistan

These are the astonishing images of the very aptly named Door To Hell, a fiery crater caused by a drilling blunder that is baffling scientists after flaming away for more than 40 years.

The 230-feet wide crater, situated near Derweze village in Turkmenistan, was named the Door to Hell by locals, referring to the endless flames and boiling mud that can be found inside.

Originally a level surface, the site was identified by Soviet scientists in 1971 as an area that was believed to house a substantial oil field.

113 A flaming big hole that wont stop burning: Giant gas crater called The Door To Hell that was caused by drilling blunder and was expected to burn out after a few days…in 1971

Still smoking: The Door To Hell, a 230-feet wide crater, situated near Derweze village in Turkmenistan, has been burning since 1971

A camp and drilling rig were set up nearby, and, after the Soviets were pleased with amount of gas resources that were believed to be at the site, it was agreed that gas from the field would start being stored.

However, the ground beneath the drilling rig soon collapsed, creating a wide crater that was believed to be releasing large quantities of methane gas, a potential danger to the nearby Turkmenistan villages.

Scientists decided that the most efficient way to solve the problem would be to burn off the poisonous gases – by doing so, it was expected that all of the gas in the crater would be burnt off within days.

More than four decades later, though, the crater is still ablaze – and hundreds of tourists flock to visit it every year.

28 A flaming big hole that wont stop burning: Giant gas crater called The Door To Hell that was caused by drilling blunder and was expected to burn out after a few days…in 1971

The crater was formed when a Soviet drilling rig collapsed, releasing large quantities of methane gas

37 A flaming big hole that wont stop burning: Giant gas crater called The Door To Hell that was caused by drilling blunder and was expected to burn out after a few days…in 1971

Attraction: Hundreds of tourists flock to visit the Door To Hell every year more than four decades after it was created

46 A flaming big hole that wont stop burning: Giant gas crater called The Door To Hell that was caused by drilling blunder and was expected to burn out after a few days…in 1971

Back in 1971, Russian Scientists decided that the most efficient way to solve the problem would be to burn off the poisonous gases expecting it would take only a couple of days

The Karakum Desert, where Derweze is located, has one of the largest gas reserves in the world. Turkmenistan hopes to up its exportation rate around 75 million cubic meters of gas in the next 20 years

55 A flaming big hole that wont stop burning: Giant gas crater called The Door To Hell that was caused by drilling blunder and was expected to burn out after a few days…in 1971

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