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Will the Gates of Hell Be Closed Forever?

Drive three and a half hours north of Turkmenistan’s capital, into the flat, seemingly empty desert. In the middle of nowhere, you’ll see it. Bright orange flames rise out of an infernal abyss, licking the night sky. The air at the pit’s edge is thick and hot, like standing too close to an erupting volcano. It smells faintly of propane, and it is loud, like a jet engine revving up. Welcome to the Gates ...

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