The gate to hell has been discovered in Turkey. And no, this doesn’t appear to be an April Fool’s Day prank.
According to USA Today, a team of Italian archaeologists have discovered the remains of an ancient mythological cave, known as Pluto’s Gate, which has also been described by Cicero and Greek geographer Strabo as the entrance way to hell.
Strabo wrote: “This space is full of a vapor so misty and dense that one can scarcely see the ground. Any animal that passes inside meets instant death. I threw in sparrows and they immediately breathed their last and fell.”
Archeologist Francesco D’Andria believes that the discovery may indeed lead to the underworld. Well, he believes that he might know why sparrows and other animals instantly died once they passed the threshold of the cave.
D’Andria said that he found hell’s gate “by reconstructing the route of a thermal spring.” The cave is full of carbon dioxide fumes and can be deadly to just about anything standing at its entrance.
D’Andria said: “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.”
The Cleveland Leader notes that pagan pilgrims used the gate to hell to make sacrifices to Pluto. D’Andria said that the site was functional until the 4th century A.D.
According to Strabo, only the eunuchs of Cybele, an ancient fertility goddess, were able to stand in the doorway to hell without falling dead. The Greek geographer said that the priests would “hold their breath as much as they” could but told pilgrims that they had “divine providence.”