Much Ado about the Gate to Hell

gate_to_hell_by_matthewcore-d55lwdpLately we’ve been hearing about the discovery of a portal that supposedly leads to Hell, or the underworld. I don’t believe in those kinds of places because Hell, like Heaven, would have to exist out of time and space, in other words, not of our world. Wherever they actually are, it seems like you have to be a disembodied spirit (soul) to get there. (Artwork right by Matthew Core, Gate to Hell.)

But still, I had to see what all the fuss was about and that’s what I’d like to share with you today.

University-of-SalentoThe Scientists

An Italian team of scientists, led by Francesco D’Andria (professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Salento), discovered what was known in the ancient world as the gate to hell, or the Plutonium (Pluto being the god of the underworld, photo below left).

They discovered the landmark in southwest Turkey in the ancient remains of a city called Hierapolis. The actual “gate” is a small cave that spews a toxic chemical gas. This miasma surrounding the Plutonium can kill animals and humans.

An ancient Greek geographer who lived during the 1st century BC, named Strabo, reported they threw sparrows into the thick mists to test the air quality. The poor birds died immediately and fell to the ground.  That may sound severe, but let’s remember into the 20th century miners would use canaries to test the air quality below ground. My hope is that today they have modern equipment to test the air instead of the poor birds.

PlutoProfessor D’Andria also reported seeing birds fly into the mist during their excavations whereupon they died instantly.  In addition to the Plutonium, the professor and his team discovered a temple, a pool, and a stairway leading up and away from the pool area. He reported that these landmarks perfectly match the descriptions of the Gate to Hell from ancient texts.

What Was It?

According to the archaeologists, this site was a place of pilgrimage in the ancient world. The people would travel there to receive visions and prophecies. In fact, science tells us that the water from the pool actually produces hallucinations due to its chemical make-up.

It reminds me of the Oracle of Delphi. Her cave also emitted noxious gases that could cause  hallucinations and altered states of mind. Archaeologists have speculated that that is how the Oracle(s) derived their revelations and prophecies – under the influence.

It would seem the Plutonium had the same mechanism in place. In fact, this whole story reminds me of Yellowstone Park here in the US. Those geysers and eruptions also emit smelly, toxic gases, but fortunately not in enough quantities to kill someone (at least not that I know of).

GateToHell01Is It Really the Gate to Hell?

So does science really believe this toxic bilge in the middle of southwest Turkey is the entrance to a demonic underworld? No, of course not. The offending fumes are none other than billows of carbon dioxide gushing from the Earth due to natural processes underground.

But it’s easy to see how the ancients were fooled, isn’t it? The whole situation gets me thinking about the things that could be fooling us today, even though we think of ourselves as sophisticated, scientific people.  Lights in the sky, strange sounds from the Earth, strange sounds from under the oceans. They may all have a very scientific and logical explanation one day, but for now they continue to fascinate us.

All this aside, I still believe there are strange and fascinating things to be discovered on and under our planet. So let’s keep our cameras handy and be ready to snap any oddities that may cross our paths!

Til the next time!

One comment

  1. I would agree with you. There are so many mysteries that have a perfectly good explanation and it really is easy to see how people were fooled years ago. Thanks for the article I enjoyed reading it!

Leave a Reply