YEMEN: A natural wonder of eastern Yemen shrouded in mystery, tales of demons and evil spirits, Barhout’s Well, known as the “Hell’s Well”, fascinates geologists.
About 1,300 kilometers east of the capital Sanaa, near the border with Oman, this giant hole in the desert of Al-Mahra province is 30 meters wide and is said to be 100 to 250 meters deep. According to local folklore, it was created to serve as a prison for demons, a superstition reinforced by the foul smells that emerge from its depths. Yemeni officials say they don’t know what is there.
The lack of oxygen makes it difficult to explore. Little sunlight penetrates there and you can’t see much from the shore except for the birds that come in and out of the depths. Local superstition is that objects near the hole are sucked into it.
For fear of curse, many inhabitants of the region are therefore reluctant to approach the vast hole and even avoid talking about it, in a country that is not lacking in tragedies. Yemen has been in the throes of a civil war since 2014 between the government and the Houthi rebels, which has plunged the population into the world’s worst humanitarian disaster according to the UN.