A team led by Francesco D’Andria, an Italian archaeologists from the University of Salento, has discovered a sort of Gates to Hell.
This ancient gateway to hell aka Pluto’s Gate excavated near a cave entrance was described by the Greek geographer, Strabo, in 24 A.D. as a,
Space 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.
It was believed to be a true portal to the underworld in Greek mythology and a place where the “rites of incubation” would occur. Vapors from the gate would cause hallucinations which would give rise to visions and prophecies to those who slept nearby the cave. The temple complex was also used as place to offer up sacrifices to Pluto. Also unearthed nearby was a thermal pool and courtyard for priests and travelers.
Even today the gateway located in the city of Hierapolis still contains lethal vapors as D’Andria describes of his excavations,
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.
A digital reconstruction of the site is currently being designed by D’Andria and his team to help give more insight into this unworldly find.
Now, if only we could find the Stairway to Heaven next.0