A man who stumbled upon a burning crater in Urumqi, Xinjiang may have thought he’d discovered a hole to hell.
Yang Shiyin noticed the irregularly shaped pit as he was headed to work at a construction site in the city’s Xiyantu Township on April 5. It glowed red with heat, but made no noise and produced no flame. When he leaned forward to get a closer look, his eyes stung from the intensity of the heat.
When Yang returned to his dormitory, he was surprised to learn that his colleagues had known about the hole since last June, at which point it was around 20 centimeters wide. The elder, wiser among them said the crater had been burning for years, yet no one knew why.
Reporters soon arrived at the scene to behold the mysterious burning crater themselves. The horn-shaped hole is now estimated to be around 80 centimeters in diameter and sizzles away at a temperature of up to 792 degrees celsius. Those who peered into it could make out no visible bottom.
While images online have inspired fantastical theories from netizens about a possible portal to the underworld, a local fire department called to the scene said that the collapsed ground is most likely the result of heat combustion from an underground coal bed.
Looks like we won’t be catching sight of the devil until his testimony at Zhou Yongkang’s trial afterall.
[Images via NetEase]