'The Door to Hell' is a real place, and it's stunning

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'The Door to Hell' is a real place, and it's stunning

The Darvaza Gas Crater is a fiery, burning natural gas field in Turkmenistan.

Located in the Karakum Desert, people have nicknamed it "The Door to Hell."

The breathtaking site exists thanks to a science experiment-gone-wrong.

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In 1971, Soviet engineers thought the site to be an oil jackpot.

What they discovered instead was an underground natural gas field. Engineers set the gas on fire in case it could potentially poison nearby towns.

45 years later, it's still lit.

At 230 feet, the crater is nearly the size of a football field.

Today, "The Door to Hell" attracts thousands of tourists every year.

You're even allowed to camp nearby... as long as you watch where you step.

Click through the gallery below to see photos of travel destinations worth the splurge:

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11 travel expenses worth the splurge

Comfortable walking shoes

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Checking a bag

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Health insurance

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Accommodations in a central and convenient location

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A data plan

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Vaccinations

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GPS system/smartphone GPS or map app

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Nonstop flights

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One must-do, dream experience 

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Durable luggage

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Local, handcrafted souvenirs

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