LOOK: This Pit Full of Snakes in the Desert Called ‘Well of Hell’ Will Make Your Skin Crawl

by Sean Griffin

The Well of Barhout in Al-Mahara, Yemen, is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Technically a sink hole, the massive “Well of Hell” wasn’t fully explored until a team of researchers from Oman became the first to land on the bottom in 2021, where they found tons of snakes and other discoveries.

The Well of Barhout contains a circular entrance that measures 100-ft. wide at the surface. The well measures a whopping 367 ft. deep.

The sinkhole passes through two huge layers of rock. The first layer is about 200-ft. thick. However, since the top layer is porous, it allows water to permeate and flow down into the sinkhole. It creates the four waterfalls located in the sinkhole. Each waterfall measures at least one hundred feet in height.

Locally, many residents believe it to be bad luck to even mention the Well of Barhout. According to local folklore, the cave was created as a prison for genies, or “jinn.” Other legends claim that the hole can “suck in” people who wander too close to it. Apparently, some locals even regard the area as the gates of hell. These local superstitions may have contributed to why the sinkhole wasn’t fully discovered and mapped until 2021.

Massive Pit of Snakes Found in “Well of Hell”

The Oman Cave Exploration Team (OCET) reached the bottom of the sinkhole on September 15, 2021. At the bottom, they found many surprises. First, they documented many stalagmites and grey and lime-green cave pearls. The cave pearls had formed by the cave’s dripping water.

Researchers believe the pit in the eastern province of Al-Mahra is aged at around millions of years old. However, once they were down there, researchers also found many dead animals—plenty of snakes.

“There were snakes, but they won’t bother you unless you bother them,” Mohammed al-Kindi, a geology professor at the German University of Technology in Oman, told a French media outlet at the time.

Kindi was among eight experienced cave explorers who ventured into the cave. Two colleagues remained at the top. The team was delighted to have discovered the grey and lime-green cave pearls, however.

“Passion drove us to do this, and we felt that this is something that will reveal a new wonder and part of Yemeni history,” Kindi said. Kindi also owns a mining and petroleum consultancy firm.

“We collected samples of water, rocks, soil and some dead animals but have yet to have them analyzed.”

Apparently, there were plenty of foul smells, too, which can be attributed to the dead animals. Many local legends have attributed the bad smells that emanate from the hole to evil spirits occupying it.

“There were dead birds, which does create some bad odors, but there was no overwhelming bad smell.” However, the researchers exploring the Well of Barhout got to venture to a place no other humans had been before.