'Gate to Hell' discovered in Turkey

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:29 AM ET

Archeologists have discovered the remains of Pluto's Gate — once believed to be a portal to hell because it produced fatal vapours — in Turkey.

Located in the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis, now the Turkish city of Pamukkale, Pluto's Gate was a cave thought to be an entrance to the underworld.

"This space is full of a vapour so misty and dense that one can scarcely see the ground. Any animal that passes inside meets instant death," Greek geographer Strabo wrote in about 24 AD.

A research team found the remains of the sacred site, which was obliterated by Christians and possibly earthquakes.

"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," Francesco D'Andria told Discovery.

Animal sacrifices were common in the cave, and pilgrims would often sleep nearby to receive visions. The vapours produced hallucinations.

 


Videos

Photos