Not many people are aware of the ecological disaster, which has been happening for many years in Asia….
In the hot Karakum desert in Turkmenistan, near the 350 person village of Derweze, is a hole 328 feet wide that has been on fire, continuously, for 38 years. While drilling in 1971, Soviet geologists accidentally found an underground cavern filled with natural gas. The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of about 50-100 meters. In order to avoid poisonous gas discharge, it was decided to burn the gas. Geologists had hoped the fire would go out in a few days but it has been burning ever since. Apparently, flaring is safer and friendlier to the environment than releasing the methane into the atmosphere as methane is a relatively potent greenhouse gas with a high global warming potential of 72 (averaged over 20 years) or 25 (averaged over 100 years).
Also, the coal beneath Centralia, USA, has been burning for almost 50 years! Unfortunately, this another example of human destructive nature towards our Notanymore Blue Planet!
The crater is visible on Google Maps.