Very interesting, superb photos! Check out the exclusive rewards, here. Especially the close-up of the Psammophis Schokari (aka Schokari Racer) which is a very fast non-venomous snake. The Karakum Desert, which covers much of Turkmenistan, lies east of the Caspian Sea. The burning hole in the middle of the Karakum Desert, in Turkmenistan, has become known as 'The Door to Hell', Illuminating: The hole in Derweze, Turkmenistan, is 70 metres wide and the flames within light up the sky, Warm: Animals graze by the warmth of the hole as a glaring light bursts into the sky, Light show: A spectacular view of the flames burning inside the crater in the heart of the Karakum Desert, Hot: A closer view of the fire inside the hole, which locals have named 'The Door to Hell', Glowing: A man peers into the fiery abyss. Locals have suitably dubbed it the ‘Door To Hell’, officially it’s known as the Darvaza Gas Crater. Now, the Darvaza crater attracts hundreds of tourists a year who come to take in the strange and sinister-looking phenomenon. In modern times, with the shrinking of the Aral Sea, the extended "Aral Karakum" has appeared on the former seabed, with an estimated area of 15,440 sq mi/40,000 km². The big eyes and lack of triangular head give it away. Soviet geologists were drilling at the site in 1971 and tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas. "There are various dates about when the crater was dug up, and when and how it was put on fire.". Create an account. By nightfall, he was the only one there except for his guide who slept in the car. The gas reserve found here is one of the largest in the world. "Geologist said they were going to try to drill into the gas," Kourounis said. No action has been taken, however, and the crater continues to burn, attracting unsuspecting wildlife and international tourists. According to Hawaiian folklore, Waipio Valley contains an entrance to the lower world, Lua-o-Milu, which is now concealed with sand. He's glad more people know about it but sad that some of the naturalism of the place is lost. The Darvaza gas crater, nicknamed by locals "The Door to Hell," or "The Gates of Hell," definitely falls into the latter category—and its sinister burning flames are just the half of it. In 1971, when the republic was still part of the Soviet Union, a group of Soviet geologists went to the Karakum in search of oil fields. The Darvaza gas crater, nicknamed by locals " The Door to Hell," or " The Gates of Hell," definitely falls into the latter category—and its sinister burning flames are just the half of it. David Berghof, who runs STANtours, said much of the available information about the crater is contradictory.