The Well of Barhout — a mysterious, gaping hole in Yemen’s remote eastern desert — has added itself to the many mysteries of the world.
This 98-foot-wide hole believed to reach between 330 and 820 feet into the earth has been coined the “Well of Hell.”
Sounds intimidating, right?
It should. After all, no one has ever reached the bottom.
The “Well of Hell” continues to beguile geologists and invite natives to wield their imaginations as to what could be hidden inside the well’s cavernous darkness.
According to Explica, Yemeni oral tradition depicts the pit as “a prison of dark spirits sheltered by unbearable odors that come from its entrails.” Also, supposedly, “screams and voices are heard from the depths.”
Popular belief adds to its mystery, telling that all who approach the unfathomable pit will be “sucked in without escape.”
Are either of these claims valid, or are they a byproduct of centuries — millennia, even — of oral tradition?
Yemeni geologists recently visited the pit to shed some light on its mystery — unfortunately, to little avail.
“We went to visit the area and entered the well, reaching depths of more than 50-60 meters (164-197 feet). We noticed strange things inside. We also smelled something strange,” Salah Babhair, managing director of the Mahra Geological and Mineral Resources Authority, said, according to Explica.
“It is a mysterious situation.”
Sunlight only faintly reaches inside the cavern, highlighting a few edges before fading into a darkness so profound that even attempts to observe the interior with cameras prove futile.
Despite it all, according to the report, various types of birds come and go, unbothered by a notable stench emanating from the depths.
The space, however, isn’t very accommodating for humans since, as Babhair mentions, it retains “low oxygen and no ventilation.”
The “Well of Hell’s” displeasing stench — which Ammar Hashem Mohammed Osman, who performed military service in the area, described as resembling “rotten eggs” — likely would drive away anyone approaching its entrance.
While the smell adds to the intense mystery, what can be said of longstanding legends of genies or jinns (essentially any spirit ranking lower than angels in Arab/Islamic tradition) allegedly living inside the well?
Because of its mystery, many natives prefer to ignore the well and often even refrain from mentioning it (and, of course, not visit the site) for fear of “bad luck,” according to AccuWeather.
Despite all the buzz, Babhair says the mysterious hole is far from a new phenomenon.
In fact, it has captivated locals for years.
We can speculate on the root of the cavern’s scent — perhaps it’s a byproduct of gas traveling through the depths, creating a stench or sound that invokes our curiosity.
Perhaps it’s from decaying flesh from animals unlucky enough to fall in — or even something as simple as bacteria-polluted water resting at the bottom.
Could the off-putting stench, depth and supernatural mystery enshrouding the “Well of Hell” be nature’s ways of safeguarding one of its darkest secrets?
As much as we love to solve mysteries, let’s hope we find out soon.
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