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Lance April 3rd, 2013 6:19 PM

Ancient 'Gate to Hell' discovered
Would go a long way to explaining some mythologies, wouldn't it?


Hell is a hard place to describe in detail, since, after all, going there would require dying first. But in an effort to find out what the ancient version of the underworld looked like, archaeologists may have unearthed the gateway to Hades.

According to the Italian news agency ANSA, a team of archeologists working in the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis in southwestern Turkey claims to have located the Plutonium, or Pluto's Gate -- an ancient pilgrim site considered the entryway to the underworld. A small cave near the temple of Apollo, the Plutonium grew in association with death from deadly gases it emitted.

Francesco D'Andria of the University of Salento announced the discovery during a press conference in Turkey in mid-March, according to La Gazzetta Del Mezzogiorno.

D'Andria told Discovery News he also found remains of the temple, a pool used by pilgrims and a series of steps.

“We could see the cave's lethal properties during the excavation. Several birds died as they tried to get close to the warm opening, instantly killed by the carbon dioxide fumes,” D'Andria added, according to Discovery News.

Austin Considine explains for VICE that the cave is a natural phenomenon, and that similar "openings in the earth's crust" can be found elsewhere:

Such noxious portals are found around the globe. Undoubtedly the coolest, a modern day hell gate in Turkmenistan has been burning for over 40 years (the geologists who accidentally created it decided to light it on fire to protect locals from the gases, and it’s been burning ever since).

Famous authors such as Roman statesman Cicero and the Greek geographer Strabus wrote about the Plutonium during their respective eras. Alister Filippini, a researcher in Roman history at the Universities of Palermo, called the find at Hierapolis exceptional to Discovery News, saying "it confirms and clarifies the information we have from the ancient literary and historic sources.”

Hierapolis, near the modern Turkish city of Pamukkale, has been labeled a UNESCO World Heritage Site and sees more than 1.5 million visitors each year. Francesco D'Andria has been excavating in the area for years, and in 2011, he claimed to have located the tomb of Saint Philip, one of Jesus' apostles.

Esper April 4th, 2013 10:52 AM

A lot of things naturally happen together where there's volcanic activity: poisonous gases, volcanos, weird openings in the earth's surface, hot springs, and so on. It really would seem like something otherworldly was going on to someone who didn't have an understanding of geology and chemistry, wouldn't it?

Lance April 7th, 2013 7:46 PM

I love little stories like this. These gates would obviously inspire the legends of Hades and the Underworld. What I would like to see is proof of other observable phenomena inspiring other, more monotheistic mythologies.

Esper April 8th, 2013 9:12 AM

I wonder if there really could be much observable proof like the cave. That works because it's related to a religious/mythological "place" a.k.a. the underworld. Most stuff in religion and mythology is related to people, isn't it? Like souls and gods and things of that sort.

Echidna April 8th, 2013 6:37 PM

Oh my God, the beginning of the video on the source page is so vague about it. She's like: "Archaeologists believe they have uncovered a gate to hell, and no that is not a pun for a new movie".
I saw that video before reading the article and was all like: "Say what? o_o".

Oh well. But yeah I guess ancient civilizations didn't have our current level of scientific knowledge and otherwise, means to interpret such phenomena, I'm not surprised it was thought to be a gate to Hades.

Hell, in 1521 Hernán Cortés practically brought the entire Aztec Empire to it's knees because its Emperor thought Cortés was a God with all his guns and crap.

This is really interesting though!

OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire April 9th, 2013 2:17 PM

This isn't the only so called gate I've read about, there's one in Italy and another in Greece too.
I think they're cool ^_^, though I wouldn't want to be near one...poisonous gas and bad smell and all.

Esper April 10th, 2013 11:11 AM


Originally Posted by Magmaruby and Aquasapphire (Post 7617067)
This isn't the only so called gate I've read about, there's one in Italy

You mean Lake Avernus? That one is fairly well-known, it seems.

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