12 Of The Most Important History News Stories Of 2018

Published December 21, 2018
Updated May 15, 2019

Archaeologists Solve The Mystery Of Deadly “Portal To Hell”

Entrance Portal To Hell

New York PostThe entrance to the portal to hell, in the ancient city of Hierapolis, in modern day Turkey.

In southern Turkey in the ancient city of Hierapolis, there lies an ancient temple dubbed the “Portal to Hell.”

For centuries, there have been a series of unexplained deaths near the temple, as any beast that’s come in contact with it has dropped dead under mysterious circumstances.

Now, however, researchers have finally solved the mystery, which was hinted at in ancient writings.

Ancient Greek geographer Strabo referred to the temple as a deadly place to set foot: “This space is full of a vapour so misty and dense that one can scarcely see the ground,” he wrote. “Any animal that passes inside meets instant death. I threw in sparrows and they immediately breathed their last and fell.”

His writings have some truth to them, as birds have recently been found dead near the entrance, apparently after attempting to enter through the door. Also, “vapour” proved to be the key note in his account.

Indeed, archeologist Francesco D’Andria says that the area’s lethal properties could be seen almost immediately. D’Andria also claims they found evidence that birds were given to pilgrims to test the effects of the cave, as well noted the rumor that priests sacrificed bulls to the underworld gods while hallucinating from the toxic fumes.

The researchers consequently found that deadly concentrations of C02 gas were near the entrance to the temple. The toxicity levels of those fumes led the archeologists to believe that the temple sits above a fault line.

As exciting as the discovery of the gateway to the underworld would be, this is simply a case of coincidence.

Bernadette Deron
Bernadette is a digital media producer, writer, and a proud native New Yorker.