"Hell's Well" in Yemen: Is there a prison for nature spirits here?
Expedition to the »Wells of Hell«: Experts from Oman have explored the floor of a legendary cave in Yemen for the first time.
Legend has it that genes are imprisoned there.
According to belief, these are nature spirits that are created from smokeless fire and are only visible to humans in exceptional cases.
At a depth of around 112 meters, the team only encountered snakes, dead birds and gray and lime green cave pearls that were created by dripping water - they did not find any signs of supernatural phenomena.
"There were snakes there, but they don't bother you as long as you don't disturb them," said geology professor Mohammed al-Kindi.
Al-Kindi was one of eight speleologists who rappelled to the bottom of the cave last week.
The team collected water, rock, and soil samples, as well as several dead animals.
An evaluation of the finds should be published shortly, announced al-Kindi.
He teaches at the German University of Technology in Muscat, a private university that cooperates with RWTH Aachen University.
Known as a disaster site
The Barhut Well is located in the desert of Al-Mahra Province in western Yemen.
For centuries, myths have grown up around the hole in the ground with a diameter of around 30 meters.
Many residents of the region believe that the place will bring bad luck.
According to geologists, the hole is millions of years old.
So far, experts had only penetrated to a depth of around 60 meters.
They then reported "strange things" and "strange smells".
The current expedition provides an explanation, at least for the smells.
"There were dead birds that actually gave off a bad odor, but there wasn't an overwhelming stench," said al-Kindi.
Civil war has been raging in Yemen for seven years.
Tens of thousands of people were killed and millions of residents had to flee.
The United Nations currently classify the situation in the country as the worst crisis in the world.
jme / AFP