Whether it was draining the Aral Sea or altering the flow of the Amu and Syr Darya rivers, the Soviets did a lot to mess up the natural environment in Central Asia and beyond. Take what is called the “Door to Hell” in Turkmenistan. In 1971, Soviet engineers lit a natural gas fire near Derweze, Turkmenistan that to this day has never gone out.
The crater of fire was eventually explored by Canadian adventurer George Kourounis. His journey and findings of this bizarre place were documented in the National Geographic special Crater of Fire, part of their Die Trying series.
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