Eight wild boars which dropped dead around a legendary death stone believed to kill anyone who approaches it have puzzled social media users in Japan.
The three adult boars and five piglets were reportedly recovered after authorities found them lifeless around Japan’s Sessho-seki, earlier this month (December).
Sessho-seki, also known as the ‘Killing Stone’, is a stone located in the volcanic mountains of Nasu, an area of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, known for its sulphurous hot springs.
According to Japanese mythology, the stone is associated with the legend of a beautiful woman named Tamamo-no-Mae who was exposed as a nine-tailed fox working for an evil Japanese magnate.
The magnate was reportedly planning to kill Emperor Toba and take his throne, but the nine-tailed fox was killed by a famous warrior named Miura-no-suke.
The fox’s body then transformed into the Sessho-seki, with the legend stating it killed everyone who came in contact with it.
The recent incident reportedly came just nine months after the stone suddenly split in two, prompting the performance of a purification ceremony by a local Shinto priest at the site.
It reportedly prompted an avalanche of reactions on social media platforms, as users began questioning whether they should start believing the myth.
User named ‘Dora Taro’ said: “I thought Sessho-seki was a fantasy product in anime and manga, but it really existed!”
Another user named ‘hash bug’ commented: “The legend has come true…”
Then a third user named ‘in’ added: “This place was such a dangerous place.”
Researchers later emphasised the great geothermic activity of the area, and pointed to the great amount of hydrogen sulphide and sulphurous acid gas that steeps out of the ground as a possible reason behind the boars’ death.
They claimed that the concentration of sulphurous gases will most likely not affect humans the same way as animals.
Ministry of Environment’s Nikko National Park employee Satohiko Zensoji claimed that animals are exposed to a greater amount of gasses because of their proximity to the ground.
But, according to the employee, this was the first time the stone’s environment has affected wild boars, with previous reports including foxes and Japanese raccoon dogs as victims.
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Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
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