The DOOR to HELL is located in Italy. And it looks like it’s reopening

Centuries of mystery envelop its waters and they have recently been dyed red, will it perhaps be the gateway to hell?

Virgil and Dante had found here the gateway to the underworld and before them the legendary war of Zeus against the Titans was disputed between its banks. Centuries of mystery envelop the waters of this lake which have recently turned red, making it even more disturbing. Were the ancients right?

The DOOR to HELL is located in Italy. And it looks like it’s reopening

# A naturalistic oasis tormented by mystery

credits: IG @fusyollarda

Set in the crater of a now extinct volcano, there is a basin of water of very ancient origin: Lake Averno. Located in the municipality of Pozzuoli, between the hamlet of Lucrino and the archaeological site of Cuma, it is considered the most evocative of the five lakes in the Phlegraean area.

Today it is a naturalistic oasis full of charm, but once upon a time the landscape was different. Its waters have been steeped in stories and legends for centuries and it is known to all for being the protagonist of one of the most tormented questions in history: does hell exist?

# Even birds keep their distance

credits: facebook Dario Grande

It is precisely on the shores of Avernus that famous people swear they have found the gates of hell. At the time, dense and nauseating fumes rose from its banks and the surrounding hills were covered with a dense forest of dark trees. The sulphurous fumes that flowed from the lake prevented the animals from life. And it is precisely because of its unusual nature, for the mysterious age, that it was given this name: “Averno” from the Greek “a-ornis” which means place without birds.

#The ancients placed the entrance to the Kingdom of the Dead here

The restless nature and the continuous movement of the earth that surrounded the waters of the lake influenced the ancients, so much so that here they placed the entrance to Hades, the kingdom of the dead. On its shore Odysseus came to meet the soothsayer Tiresias, Aeneas saw his father Anchises and Orpheus tried to enchant Pluto with his music, to get back his beloved Eurydice. Also here, in even more remote times, its waters were the scene of the clash between Zeus and the fearsome Titans.

#The disturbing change of color: is the door to hell reopening?

credits: IG @dom.g_89

And after Virgil who described these waters in the sixth book of the Aeneid, even Dante found access to the underworld in Lake Avernus. In his Divine Comedy he spoke of it to such an extent that many experts had suggested that that dark forest referred to the vegetation that surrounds the area.

There are many questions that remain unanswered, but whether it is myth or reality does not seem to matter to tourists who, intrigued by this veil of mystery, visit the shores of Avernus every year. But this year it is nature that makes the legend even more engaging. The lake has turned a flaming red. Is it a coincidence or is the door to hell really opening?

#A vision that is more enchanting than hell

credits: copernicus

But although the connection with ancient legends is singular, unfortunately for the superstitious, the characteristic ruby ​​red color of Lake Averno has nothing to do with hell and its lost souls.

It is nature that has put a hand in it and why the mirror of water has taken on this color is now well known. The Campania agency for the environment Arpac explains it: it is caused by the seasonal flowering of red-brown algae. These, supported by the cyanobacterium Planktothrix rubescens, proliferate within the lake waters and bloom in the coldest periods or in conjunction with cold night temperatures. It was during the month of April that the cyanobacteria rose to the surface, making the lake a red spot clearly visible even by the satellites of the European Space Agency.

A vision that enchants and impresses and that makes Lake Averno even more peculiar. His photos are going around the world and, thanks to its waters, in addition to remembering ancient buried stories, today the lake of mystery is also a candidate for the small circle of colored lakes of the planet.


(Original article by Sara Ferri)