Why Turkmenistan’s Gates of Hell Could Soon Be Closing Forever

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By Lindsay Rogers Many aspire to crack open a cold one at the Gates of Hell. It’s a sentiment often passed between old friends, a nod to a life well-lived. But if you’re Dylan Thuras — co-founder of media and travel company Atlas Obscura — it’s also meant in the literal sense. He’s not talking about the entrance to Dante’s Inferno (though the resemblance is admittedly uncanny). Rather, these Gates of Hell refer to a fiery crater measuring roughly 230 feet wide and 100 feet deep that’s been burning in the Central Asian country of Turkmenistan since 1971. Known officially as the Darvaza gas crat…

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