by Inigo del Castillo in Cool Travel on Friday 15 November 2013

In 1971, Soviet scientists started digging for gas resources in a field in the Karakum Desert in Darweze, Turkmenistan. The ground unfortunately collapsed due to the strain of the drilling process. The scientists tried to contain the escaping hazardous methane gases by setting it on fire. What they didn’t realize was this would accidentally open the gates to hell itself, and thus starting the countdown to the end of days.

Kidding. The fire just lasted longer than expected – more than 42 years and counting – and has become a tourist spot. Even though it’s basically a hole in the ground with flames, it’s a beautiful display of the elements of nature. Try to go at night to experience the world’s longest lasting bonfire!