Sometime in the 1960s or 1970s an exploration drill hit a gas pocket under the Turkmen Desert. This was the Soviet era and it was impossible for there to be an accident in a Marxist-Leninist state, so few no precise details are known.
They didn't have blow back preventers in those days and the resulting explosion blew a crater 100m across and 30m deep in the soft rock. To this day the gas escaping from the earth has stayed alight creating a spectacular blazing cauldron that lights up the sky for miles around.
Standing on the rim with the warmth of the fire blowing past you reminds you of the power of nature. And makes you wish for some marshmallows and a very long fork.