Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Family attacked by alleged poltergeist





Odd News

French family claims injuries caused by haunting

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2013/04/25/French-family-claims-injuries-caused-by-haunting/UPI-39391366923409/#ixzz2Rxm4nG9v

Published: April 25, 2013 at 4:56 PM
MENTQUE-NORTBECOURT, France, April 25 (UPI) -- A
French family said they have sustained injuries from flying objects at their home, which they believe to be haunted by ghosts.

The residents of the home in Mentque-Nortbecourt said a family member was hospitalized earlier this month after being struck by a chair in the face and a soap tray in the back, The Local.fr reported Thursday.

The mother told France 3 television a friend had to be hospitalized this week after being struck by stones thrown by the haunting spirits.

The family were given temporary lodging in a campsite by local officials said the father said the Nord-Pas-de-Calais regional council is working to find them a new home.

The family said an exorcist from the local diocese has been visiting the house in an attempt to banish the spirits.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Giant decomposed foot discovered in woodland in Massachusetts, U.S.

Big foot? The giant decomposing foot was discovered by two young boys in woodland in Massachusetts, U.S.Bigfoot? The giant decomposing foot was discovered by two young boys in woodland in Massachusetts, U.S.

It sounds like the plot of a childhood adventure movie.

Two young boys stumble across a giant, decomposing foot in the woods, leaving local police to wonder whether the grisly find is evidence of the fabled Bigfoot.
But that's exactly what has happened in Massachusetts, U.S., where tests are being carried out on the mysterious remains amid speculation over exactly what kind of creature it belonged to.

Baffled officers at the Lakeville Police Department sent the foot to medical examiners to see if they can shed any more light on its origin.

'On March 29, Sgt Steven Leanues picked up what appears to be a decomposed foot that the boys found in the woods off Pantheon Road,' it said, citing the Patriot Ledger newspaper.

'Police Chief Frank Alvihiera sent it to the medical examiner, who determined it is not human, although it appears to have five toes.'

The legendary creature was immortalised in the film Bigfoot and the HendersonsSasquatch: Roger Patterson claimed to have caught Bigfoot on camera in California in 1967 
Fact or fiction: There have been countless reported sightings - such as this footage (left) captured in California in 1967 - of the mysterious creature, which was immortalised in the film Bigfoot and the Hendersons (right)

Scene of the find: The woodland where the rotting foot was found
Scene of the find: The woodland where the rotting foot was found

Also known as Sasquatch, Bigfoot is the name given to the hairy, ape-like creature that some believe live in forests in North America.

Sightings of the beast have been reported over decades by people who have pointed variously to mysterious sightings, inexplicably huge footprints, and giant nest-like structures as evidence that the elusive creature does in fact exist.

Believers who claim to have spotted the legendary creature - which was immortalised in the 1987 film Bigfoot and the Hendersons - say it stands between 6ft and 10ft tall, is covered in reddish brown fur, and has a distinctive, unpleasant odour.
While fans are likely to seize upon the find as further proof of the beast's existence, sceptics might predict the tests will reveal the foot belonged not to Bigfoot, but to a big bear.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

How a big cat roamed Britain a century ago

A predatory lynx more than twice the size of a domestic moggie prowled the British countryside a century ago, researchers have discovered.

Experts have discovered the remains of an exotic big cat which prowled the British countryside a century ago near the roaming ground of the legendary 'Beast of Bodmin'. 
The stuffed remains of a Canadian lynx have been found in the cellar of Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and records show it was shot dead in the Devon countryside in the early 1900s after it killed two dogs Photo: Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
A new study has proved the carnivorous Canadian lynx roamed here at the turn of the 19th century after the beast's remains were unearthed in the vaults of a museum.
A team of scientists from four leading British universities said the find is the earliest example of an "alien big cat" in the country.
They analysed the creature's skeleton and mounted skin to uncover "concrete evidence" that exotic big cats lived here earlier than previously thought.
They argued their study disproves a popular claim that wild cats only appeared following the introduction of the 1976 Wild Animals Act, which was introduced to deal with an increasing fashion for exotic and potentially dangerous pets.
But the academics believe such feral "British big cats" may have lived in the wild much earlier, through escapes and even deliberate release.

There is no evidence that such animals have bred in the wild. The new theory follows the rediscovery of the mystery animal in an underground storeroom at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.
Records have disclosed the lynx was shot by a landowner in the Devon countryside in the early 1900s, after it killed two dogs.

In the laboratory, tests on the specimen's bones and teeth showed it had been kept in captivity long enough to develop severe tooth loss and plaque.

It then escaped or was deliberately released into the wild, the team say. Ancient DNA analysis of hair from the lynx proved inconclusive, possibly due to chemicals applied to the pelt during taxidermy.

Co-author Dr Darren Naish, from the University of Southampton, said: "There have been enough sightings of exotic big cats which substantially pre-date 1976 to cast doubt on the idea that one piece of legislation made in 1976 explains all releases of these animals in the UK.

"It seems more likely that escapes and releases have occurred throughout history, and that this continual presence of aliens explains the 'British big cat' phenomenon."

Experts from Southampton, Durham, Bristol, and Aberystwyth universities also contributed to the study, published in the journal Historical Biology .

In 1903, Edwardian curators originally mislabelled it as a Eurasian lynx - a close relative of the Canadian lynx.

Lead researcher Dr Ross Barnett, of Durham University's Department of Archaeology, said: "This Edwardian feral lynx provides concrete evidence that although rare, exotic felids have occasionally been part of British fauna for more than a century.

"The animal remains are significant in representing the first historic big cat from Britain."

The researchers say Eurasian lynxes existed in the wild in Britain many hundreds of years ago but were almost certainly extinct by the 7th century.

Dr Greger Larson, a member of the research team from Durham University and an expert in the migration of animals, said: "Every few years there is another claim that big cats are living wild in Britain, but none of these claims have been substantiated.

"It seems that big cats are to England what the Loch Ness Monster is to Scotland."
The lynx is now on public display at Bristol Museum.

 Source :

China says aims to banish superstition, promote knowledge

By Ben Blanchard

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is struggling to get its estimated 100 million religious believers to banish superstitious beliefs about things like sickness and death, the country's top religious affairs official told a state-run newspaper.

Wang Zuoan, head of the State Administration of Religious Affairs, said there had been an explosion of religious belief in China along with the nation's economic boom, which he attributed to a desire for reassurance in an increasingly complex world.

While religion could be a force for good in officially atheist China, it was important to ensure people were not mislead, he told the Study Times, a newspaper published by the Central Party School which trains rising officials.
"For a ruling party which follows Marxism, we need to help people establish a correct world view and to scientifically deal with birth, ageing, sickness and death, as well as fortune and misfortune, via popularizing scientific knowledge," he said, in rare public comments on the government's religious policy.

"But we must realize that this is a long process and we need to be patient and work hard to achieve it," Wang added in the latest issue of the Study Times, which reached subscribers on Sunday.

"Religion has been around for a very long time, and if we rush to try to push for results and want to immediately 'liberate' people from the influence of religion, then it will have the opposite effect and push people in the opposite direction."

About half of China's religious followers are Christians or Muslims, with the other half Buddhists or Daoists, he said, admitting the real total number of believers was probably much higher than the official estimate of 100 million.

Wang did not address specific issues, such as what happens after the exiled spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism the Dalai Lama dies, testy relations with the Vatican or controls on Muslims in the restive Xinjiang region in the west.

Rights groups say that despite a constitutional guarantee of freedom of belief, the government exercises tight control, especially over Tibetans, Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang and Christians, many of whom worship in underground churches.


Beijing also takes a hard line on what it calls "evil cults", like banned spiritual group Falun Gong, who it accuses of spreading dangerous superstition.

Still, while religion was savagely repressed during the chaos of the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, the government has taken a much more relaxed approach since embarking on landmark economic reforms some three decades ago.

The ruling Communist Party, which values stability above all else, has even tried to co-opt religion in recent years as a force for social harmony in a country where few believe in communism any more.
China had avoided the religious extremism which happened in some places with the collapse of the Soviet Union or the religious problems seen with immigrants in Europe and the United States, Wang added, something to be proud of.

Still, China could not rest on its laurels.

"Religion basically upholds peace, reconciliation and harmony ... and can play its role in society," Wang said.
"But due to various complex factors, religion can become a lure for unrest and antagonism. Looking at the state of religion in the world today, we must be very clear on this point."

(Editing by Robert Birsel)

 Source :

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Hands Resist Him

The Hands Resist Him
Urban Legends

In February, 2000 this painting appeared in an auction on eBay. The painting, titled 'The Hands Resist Him', quickly earned a reputation as tens of thousands of people viewed the item, and more than a few made bids.

The reason for the attention was that the seller made the claim that the painting was haunted. The family added their story, starting from their discovery of the painting, abandoned at an old brewery, to the events and the investigation they carried out in order to try to prove their claims.

Before we get into all of that we will take a step back, and start from the beginning… back to when the artist applied the brush strokes that would soon grab worldwide attention through the internet... and, to keep you interested, here is the disclaimer that was added to the auction:

“WARNING: Do not bid on this painting if you are susceptible to stress-related disease, [or if you are] faint of heart or are unfamiliar with supernatural events. By bidding on this painting, you agree to release the owners of all liability in relation to the sale, or any events happening after the sale, that might be contributed to this painting. This painting may or may not possess supernatural powers that could impact or change your life. However, by bidding you agree to exclusively bid on the value of the artwork, with disregard to the last two photos featured in this auction, and hold the owners harmless in regard to them and their impact, expressed or implied.”

In 1972 Bill Stoneham, an artist from Oakland, California used an old photo of himself from the age of five, to be the model for the boy in the painting. The boy is either looking to the future, or the viewer is looking back into their past.

The hands seen in the windows are other potential routes and possibilities his life path may have taken, or other potential lives that may have been, but he does not see them, his back is turned. The little girl doll is his guide through life, though she is holding a piece of herself, a battery and some wires. What to her would have been the power of autonomy is removed, yet she still stands... a first step towards her own life?

Finally, the glass door is a veil between waking and dreaming, and perhaps between life and death.

Stoneham displayed the piece at an art show he put on in Los Angeles in the early 70's. The painting eventually sold to actor John Marley, who played Jack Woltz in 'the Godfather' (the character who awakens to find the severed head of his prized horse in bed with him.)

Before the painting was sold, it was reviewed by an art critic who died within the year, as did the owner of the art gallery. No doubt a coincidence, but Stoneham does speculate this may be the beginning of some sort of curse...

John Marley died in 1984 after open heart surgery. He was interred at Cedar Park Cemetery in Emerson, New Jersey, and no doubt the painting went into someone else's possession.

From that point on, the journey of the painting was a mystery, until it turned up when a family found it, abandoned, behind an old brewery. Without thinking twice, the family took the painting home, but soon wished they had not.

The painting had only been in the house for a few days when the young daughter started to complain about it. She told how the 'children' in the painting would fight; the girl (aka the doll) would threaten the boy with the object she was holding in her hand. Finally, after a good period of time, the girl started talking about how the figures would leave the painting as 'ghosts' and continue their fighting.

The parents decided to try to persuade their daughter that the painting was just a painting, and in order to do that they set up a motion activated camera to watch the painting for them.

For three days and nights they let the camera keep its vigilant lens on the painting, and after that period of time they went to view any of the footage it may have captured. Remember, this is a motion activated camera, so if it found no movement there would be nothing recorded.

However, to the shock of the family, the camera had indeed recorded several pieces of footage. What the camera seemed to capture was the painting almost taking on a life of its own... although the figures did not seem to be moving, the colours changed and the object in the girls hand took on the resemblance of a gun or other weapon, and not the battery she had been carrying before.

The object in her hand may have seemed to have changed due to different lighting conditions being present in the dark, but the family insists that something was remiss with the painting. They wanted to get rid of it, but rather then burning it or destroying it in any other way; they decided to let the public decide.

The put it up as an auction on eBay, and the buyer could do with it as they wanted.

The opening bid started at $199, but at the end of the auction the painting had sold to the 'Perception Gallery' in Grand Rapids, Michigan for $1025. The gallery got in contact with Bill Stoneham, the artist, and the back story you read at the beginning of this article came to light.

Bill was not expecting all the fuss over his painting, but was not entirely surprised. There had been the deaths at the original art show, and the fact he put a lot of himself into the painting. He says his paintings resonate strongly with lots of people by opening an inner door, or even channelling through his art. If that is the case maybe something has been caught in his strokes?

All throughout the auction on eBay, and subsequently its placement in its new home at the Perception Gallery, the painting still affects those who view it. People feel ill and a few have fainted. Children seem to be the most affected, having vivid nightmares the night after seeing it, and waking up screaming.

Haunted, cursed or all in peoples heads, it does not really matter. Something strange seems to befall many of the people who have set their eyes on this art, and that in itself makes for a great story.

(Since the popularity of the painting Bill Stoneham has had two sequel to the paintings commissioned 'Resistance at the Threshold' depicts the boy aged another 40 years and 'Threshold of Revelation' shows the boy aged 70+ years and the doll now a little girl. View them here: http://stonehamstudios.com/hands-series.html)

Slit Mouth Woman

Slit Mouthed Woman
Urban Legends

A young person walks down a street in the darkening hours of the evening. Their identity does not matter, neither does their age or gender, because the thing that is about to befall them does not care for such things, all that matters is that they are young.

The young person turns off a main road and into a smaller street, the sounds of the evening traffic as people return home from work and other daytime activities grows hollow and distant.

There is noone on this new street except for a woman, a little ahead. Instantly visible is the surgical mask covering her nose and mouth, not too unusual in this part of the world with the heavy smog and a fear of airborne illnesses. The woman continues to walk towards the young person, at first looking to walk past, but at the last minute, veering to stand directly in front of them.

"Am I beautiful?" the masked woman asks.

The young person looks her up and down. She has long dark hair that passes over her forehead to partially cover her eyes, but even the jet black cannot cover the piercing brilliance of eyes that can only be described as beautiful, although quite intense at the same time.

"Yes you are." replies the young person.

The women slightly bows her head in response, before clawing at her mask and tearing it away.

"How about now?"

The young person is in shock, what stands before them is a disgusting grin. The womans mouth has been cut, the corners extended from ear to ear. The full set of her teeth are easily visible through the cut flesh, the mouth in a permanent smile.

"ye.. yes" The young person is shocked, the answer is stammered, they are unable to think.

The person they have just met is the slit mouthed woman. The young person has heard the stories told at their school. They turn to run, but after only a few footsteps, she stands before them once again, a sharp implement in her hands – scissors, a knife?

It does not matter, they cut the youngsters flesh all the same. The victim is found on that street sometime later. Their mouth too bearing the frightening visage of a smile, stretching from ear to ear.

So goes the story of the Slit Mouthed Woman, known as "Kuchisake-onna" in the legend's native Japan. The legend is quite old, but noone is entirely certain when it began. What we do know however is that it came to prominence in the late 1970's, when sightings were rumored to take place around Nagasaki Prefecture, Kyushu.

The young person in the above story was possibly considered to be lucky, as they will have likely survived their wounds, though albeit with hideous scarring. It can go quite worse according to the legend.

Should they have responded 'no', when first asked if the woman was beautiful, she would have killed them there and then. The same fate would have also befallen them if they answered the same after her true face was revealed, though some legend states the young person would have been cut completely in two.

When the Slit Mouthed Woman was said to be sighted in the late 70's, the authorities in that part of Japan sought to calm what was an overwhelming sense of panic in towns, by increasing their presence on the street,through putting on more patrols.

Schools organised students to walk home in groups as much as possible, as Kuchisake-onna was said to generally only prey on those alone. Students were also said to have devised a tactic to fool the slit mouthed woman, answer her questions with other questions, or do not provide a definitive answer.

Some told how she let them go after they said they had another engagement to attend to, obviously she is not immune to good manners.

The stories died down in Japan, only to surface in South Korea through the 90's.

As for who she is? Well there are a number of 'origin' tales for this legend. Some put her as a beautiful woman who was quite vain. Her husband began to suspect that she was having an affair with another man. One evening, when his paranoia got the better of him, he attacked her, slicing open her smile so that no other man would ever find her desirable.

Another story tells how in the early 70's she was a woman who used to chase and terrify children. When complaints were made against her, and the police tracked her down, she ran into heavy traffic where she was struck and died, one of her injuries the signature slit faced smile. This particular origin is said to be backed up by a coroners findings, however, this too is probably just legend.

This urban legend is just plain creepy, how much truth there is to it is up to you to decide.

Ashley Hall 2013

Pictures: stills from the movie 'Carved', a horror movie all about the Slit Mouthed Woman.

For more information about the paranormal, strange, dark and macabre through articles, discussions, podcasts, videos and competitions visit The Paranormal Guide:

UFODI News: UFO's in formation fly low over Cork,Ireland

Groups of strange bright circular objects have been filmed flying in formation in the skies over Ireland.

Filmed by a Youtube user known as "Naktis Ireland", the objects were caught on camera as they passed over the top of houses in Cork. "I am sorry for the quality, it was filmed with a mobile phone," he wrote. "Ironically I had a Canon EOS 55D with 300 mm lens at home that could of filmed in 3000x3000 but I was afraid that they would disappear by the time I got my camera as this is a very rare opportunity so instead, used a phone to record as much as possible."

The footage has come under considerable scrutiny since appearing online. Best-selling author Whitley Strieber has suggested the lights could be flares or sky lanterns. "The thing that bothers me about them is that I am seeing that slow falling motion, not like something powered at all. I think that they are too large to be fireworks," he said.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spiders as big as your face discovered in Sri Lanka

spider tarantula
Huge: The female spider (Picture: Ranil Nanayakkara/British Tarantula Society)
Scared of spiders? Then read on if you dare… Metro takes no responsibility for any bad dreams you may have tonight.

A new species of venomous tarantula has been discovered – and it’s as big as your face.

It was tracked down in war-ravaged northern Sri Lanka after villagers took a spider to experts after they had killed it in 2009.

male tarantula spider (Picture: Ranil Nanayakkara/British Tarantula Society
The male spider (Picture: Ranil Nanayakkara/British Tarantula Society)
The scientists suspected the dead arachnid was a previously unknown type and confirmed the theory after setting off to find its living relatives.

‘Days of extensive searching in every tree hole and bark peel were rewarded with a female and, to our satisfaction, several juveniles too,’ said researcher Ranil Nanayakkara.

The tarantulas – part of the tiger spider genus – have distinctive markings including daffodil-yellow colouring on their legs and a pink band around their stomachs.

The distinctive markings on the underside of the female male tarantula spider (Picture: Ranil Nanayakkara/British Tarantula Society)
The distinctive markings on the underside of the female male tarantula spider (Picture: Ranil Nanayakkara/British Tarantula Society)
They were found living in the old doctor’s quarters of a hospital in Mankulam, by the researchers from Sri Lanka’s Biodiversity Education and Research organisation.

They have been named Poecilotheria rajaei in honour of police inspector Michael Rajakumar Purajah, who led the research team through countryside still recovering from Sri Lanka’s civil war.

Strange Sleep Disorder Makes People See 'Demons'

When filmmaker Carla MacKinnon started waking up several times a week unable to move, with the sense that a disturbing presence was in the room with her, she didn't call up her local ghost hunter. She got researching.

Now, that research is becoming a short film and multiplatform art project exploring the strange and spooky phenomenon of sleep paralysis. The film, supported by the Wellcome Trust and set to screen at the Royal College of Arts in London, will debut in May.

Sleep paralysis happens when people become conscious while their muscles remain in the ultra-relaxed state that prevents them from acting out their dreams. The experience can be quite terrifying, with many people hallucinating a malevolent presence nearby, or even an attacker suffocating them. Surveys put the number of sleep paralysis sufferers between about 5 percent and 60 percent of the population.
"I was getting quite a lot of sleep paralysis over the summer, quite frequently, and I became quite interested in what was happening, what medically or scientifically, it was all about," MacKinnon said. [Top 10 Spooky Sleep Disorders]

Her questions led her to talk with psychologists and scientists, as well as to people who experience the phenomenon. Myths and legends about sleep paralysis persist all over the globe, from the incubus and succubus (male and female demons, respectively) of European tales to a pink dolphin-turned-nighttime seducer in Brazil. Some of the stories MacKinnon uncovered reveal why these myths are so chilling.

Sleep stories

One man told her about his frequent sleep paralysis episodes, during which he'd experience extremely realistic hallucinations of a young child, skipping around the bed and singing nursery rhymes. Sometimes, the child would sit on his pillow and talk to him. One night, the tot asked the man a personal question. When he refused to answer, the child transformed into a "horrendous demon," MacKinnon said.

For another man, who had the sleep disorder narcolepsy (which can make sleep paralysis more common), his dream world clashed with the real world in a horrifying way. His sleep paralysis episodes typically included hallucinations that someone else was in his house or his room — he'd hear voices or banging around. One night, he awoke in a paralyzed state and saw a figure in his room as usual. [See MacKinnon's Artistic Images of Sleep Paralysis]

"He suddenly realizes something is different," MacKinnon said. "He suddenly realizes that he is in sleep paralysis, and his eyes are open, but the person who is in the room is in his room in real life."
The figure was no dream demon, but an actual burglar.

Myths and science of sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis experiences are almost certainly behind the myths of the incubus and succubus, demons thought have sex with unsuspecting humans in their sleep. In many cases, MacKinnon said, the science of sleep paralysis explains these myths. The feeling of suffocating or someone pushing down on the chest that often occurs during sleep paralysis may be a result of the automatic breathing pattern people fall into during sleep. When they become conscious while still in this breathing pattern, people may try to bring their breathing under voluntary control, leading to the feeling of suffocating.

Add to that the hallucinations that seem to seep in from the dream world, and it's no surprise that interpretations lend themselves to demons, ghosts or even alien abduction, MacKinnon said.
What's more, MacKinnon said, sleep paralysis is more likely when your sleep is disrupted in some way — perhaps because you've been traveling, you're too hot or too cold, or you're sleeping in an unfamiliar or spooky place. Those tendencies may make it more likely that a person will experience sleep paralysis when already vulnerable to thoughts of ghosts and ghouls.

"It's interesting seeing how these scientific narratives and the more psychoanalytical or psychological narratives can support each other rather than conflict," MacKinnon said.
Since working on the project, MacKinnon has been able to bring her own sleep paralysis episodes under control — or at least learned to calm herself during them. The trick, she said, is to use episodes like a form of research, by paying attention to details like how her hands feel and what position she's in. This sort of mindfulness tends to make scary hallucinations blink away, she said.
"Rationalizing it is incredibly counterintuitive," she said. "It took me a really long time to stop believing that it was real, because it feels so incredibly real."

Source :

Unknown Skeleton of Sea Creature Found in Qingdao China

sea creature landscape
A skeleton measuring 3.5 metres (11 feet 5 inches) in length has allegedly been discovered in waters off China’s Shandong Province.

The skeleton, which is believed to have a total of 153 joints, was found by fishermen in Qingdao on 28 March. Local camera crews and crowds of onlookers soon gathered to catch a glimpse of the strange creature, whose origins have yet to be confirmed.

Despite appearing online a couple of days before April 1, both the colouring and condition of the skeleton have led many to believe that it is, in fact, an elaborate carving or part of a well devised practical joke. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that a mysterious object has popped up in Chinese media only to leave members of the press red-faced; in June last year, footage of a “legendary mushroom” appeared online as a young Chinese reporter poked and prodded what eventually turned out to be a discarded sex toy.

Placed on top of a stretch of red cloth, however, the skeleton certainly looks impressive!
sea creature
Here’s some footage of the mysterious beast, taken by local news crews late last week and complete with plenty of exciting zooms and sound effects:

Man with a face on the back of his head :

Edward Mordrake was reportedly a young man that lived during the 19th century. At birth, Edward was stricken with a bizarre medical condition. He was born with an extra face on the back of his head. The face could laugh and cry, but not eat or speak. Edward begged his doctors to have the “demon head” removed, because it whispered Satanist language to him at night. However, no doctor would attempt it. The description of Edward Mordrake’s condition is somewhat similar to those of Chang Tzu Ping and Pasqual Pinon. Sadly, Edward Mordrake committed suicide at the age of 23.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Scientists reportedly discover gate to hell

Digital reconstruction of "Pluto's Gate" (Francesco D'Andria)
It sounds like something out of a horror movie. But Italian scientists say that the “Gate to Hell” is the real deal—poisonous vapors and all.

The announcement of the finding of the ruins of Pluto’s Gate (Plutonium in Latin) at an archeology conference in Turkey last month, was recently reported by Discovery News. Francesco D'Andria, professor of classic archaeology at the University of Salento in Lecce, Italy, who has been excavating the ancient Greco-Roman World Heritage Site of Hierapolis for years, led the research team.

D’Andria told Discovery News he used ancient mythology as his guide to locate the legendary portal to the underworld. “We found the Plutonium by reconstructing the route of a thermal spring. Indeed, Pamukkale' springs, which produce the famous white travertine terraces originate from this cave.”

Scribes like Cicero and the Greek geographer Strabo mentioned the gate to hell as located at the ancient site in Turkey, noted Discovery, but nobody had been able to find it until now.

“Pluto’s Gate” has been documented in the Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, which noted in its description of ancient Hierapolis, “Adjoining the temple on the SE is the Plutoneion, which constituted the city's chief claim to fame. It was described by Strabo as an orifice in a ridge of the hillside, in front of which was a fenced enclosure filled with thick mist immediately fatal to any who entered.”

Strabo (64 B.C.- 24 B.C.) 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.”

The portal to the underworld seems just as bad for your health today. The professor 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.”

According to Discovery News, the fumes emanated from a cave below the site, which includes ionic columns with inscriptions to Pluto and Kore, gods of the underworld. Also discovered: the remains of a temple, and a pool and stairs placed above the cave. D'Andria is now working on a digital rendering of the site.

Amazingly, this isn’t the first entry to the underworld in the world. In the Karakum Desert, reports the Daily Mail, a fiery pit that’s been lit up for over 40 years has inspired visitors to Derweze in Turkmenistan—and on the Web. Geologists drilling in the area came across a natural gas cavern. Hoping to burn off the gas, they set it on fire. The flames continued to burn, leading locals to dub the site the “door to hell.”

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