Please watch the short video below:
This hole (initially a gas-filled cave) has been named “Hell’s Gate”, for obvious reasons. It was discovered when some geologists have been searching for natural gas, in Turkmenistan’s Karakum desert, in Darvasa. The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of about 50-100 meters.
Since nobody had the guts to go inside because of the large amounts of methane there, they had a “brilliant” idea: set it on fire. And so they did.
What you can see is a fire that has never stopped since 1971, when it was started.
There’s one question I’d like you to answer, if you know more about it: why hasn’t this continuously-burning methane source been harvested all this time? Ok, they lost the gas, but the heat produced by the fire is another valuable source of energy that could have brought millions of millions of dollars to any energy company in the world! There are so many technical solutions now, compared to back then, that it would be a real loss to let it burn for nothing.
Stirling engines are readily available to harness the power, and they were available even then, in 1971.