Mysterious Places That Could Be Portals To Other Worlds
Let's delve into mysterious places that could be portals to other worlds and dimensions!Mysteries
Time and time again, science fiction, Hollywood magic, and videogames have toyed with the idea of stepping through portals and into alternate worlds and dimensions. But what if it actually were possible? Some folks believe it is, and in some cases, it might not be as impossible as it sounds.
From baffling ancient sites and accursed African islands to ordinary spaces with extraordinary properties, let’s investigate some mysterious places that could be portals to other worlds!
Door On Mars
The great David Bowie once asked: ‘is there life on Mars?’ In 2022, a satellite image released by NASA convinced many that there, in fact, was. But was there any substance to it? Let’s investigate!
For over 10 years now, the Mars Curiosity Rover has been investigating the red planet in intimate detail, allowing us Earthlings to discover more about our planetary neighbor. In May 2022, Curiosity captured something astounding, something many believed to be a doorway on Mars.
With a portal’s dictionary definition being a ‘a doorway, gate, or other entrance’, this discovery, some posited, could be a portal to a subterranean, extra-terrestrial world. Who knows what secrets lie beyond that doorway? Not many, according to NASA.
Organization officials claim what we’re actually seeing is just a natural geological process, perhaps, as suggested by Professor David Rothery, the eroded remains of hardened sand dunes. Not to mention that the alleged ‘door’ only measures around 11.8 inches tall. Meaning if there were any little-green-men up there, then they’d be truly very little!
NASA further refuted these alien claims by attributing the door-like appearance to something known as ‘pareidolia’, which is essentially the way in which our brains sometimes perceive meaning in completely random visual patterns. So, as far as the official conclusion goes, there isn’t a secret alien portal doorway on Mars. Unless that’s exactly what they want us to believe!
The Fosse Dionne
In the Burgundy region of France, lies perhaps the country’s most intriguing site: The Fosse Dionne. With 311 liters of water gushing out every second, but with no source ever having been located, legend claims it’s a bottomless spring or better yet, a portal to another world!
Used for drinking water and worship alike since the 7th century, the spring was wrapped in a circular stone wall in 1758, giving it a remarkable, interdimensional portal-like appearance.
Those with an inclination to all things spiritual often believe circles hold a strong mystical significance. Given their non-linear shape, believers suggest they symbolize endless cycles of energy and growth, opening the psyches of those in their vicinity. And indeed, this circular spring has stimulated minds and imaginations for centuries.
During the 18th century, locals would peer into the depths of the spring, imagining what lay in the fathoms below. Some even dared to dive in, but would seemingly disappear without a trace, leading to local lore that the spring was either a portal to another realm or that there was a giant serpent at the bottom, eating victims.
But mysticism and folklore aside, the portal-like properties of the Fosse Dionne extend pretty physically, given that no explorer has ever reached the bottom. In the last 50 years, only 4 people have braved the Fosse Dionne. And only 1 survived: French diver, Pierre-Eric Deseigne.
In 2019, he managed to descend 230ft, but still found no hint as to the source the water was pouring in from, nor a serpent or a portal. Some theorize that the water travels potentially many miles through underground caverns into the spring, while others maintain their superstitions.
As the French would say, there truly is a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ about the Fosse Dionne. Could it plumb deep into Earth’s depths, to entire unknown worlds below the surface?
Many scientific discoveries are owed to those who dared to think outside the box. For example, Halley’s Comet was discovered by Edmond Halley, who also had some stranger, albeit lesser-known, theories about the world.
In 1692, Halley shared his ‘Hollow Earth Theory’. He proposed that the Earth consists of three hollow concentric shells. Essentially, like Russian Matryoshka dolls, but planet-sized. However, 75 years later, the 18th century mathematician Leonhard Euler embellished the theory. Euler proposed that the Earth was completely hollow, with no concentric shells, but rather a sun at the center.
According to Euler, the planet’s north and south poles could actually be gateways into the hollow Earth, the interior of which is potentially home to advanced beings with innovative technology. Sounds nutty but it gets even weirder.
According to a book published in the 1990s, renowned American explorer, Admiral Byrd, encountered the hollow Earth first-hand on a voyage to document the Arctic and the north pole. The first-hand diary featured in the book reveals that on the expedition in 1947, Byrd allegedly discovered an entrance into the hollow Earth that Euler had theorized.
According to his diary, he witnessed a ‘green valley below’, which he described as ‘wrong and abnormal’, as he expected to be flying over an icy expanse. As he delved into the hollow Earth, he and his crew were met by an intelligent civilization with ultra-advanced technologies.
As fascinating as this seems, as of yet, there’s no evidence to prove the book’s claims are actually true, nor that the diary it features was actually written by Admiral Byrd. The explorer was long dead by the publication date, so obviously he wasn’t able to verify one way or the other.
More-so than that, the biggest issue is that Admiral Byrd was actually in Antarctica, not the Arctic, during this time. And even if a hollow-earth discovery had been made in Antarctica instead, Byrd was accompanied by a large team, none of whom ever shared any tales of this nature.
So, do the North and South poles feature portals to the hollow Earth? Probably not as far as the legitimacy of Admiral Byrd’s so-called ‘secret diary’ goes. But, with Antarctica alone being 5.5 million square miles in size, who knows for sure what colossal, untapped caverns may lurk below the ice?
Strangely, in 2018, researchers discovered that some bizarre holes had appeared in the Arctic ice. While no conclusive cause was figured out, they were theorized to be a result of something melting the surface, like warm underground springs.
But it certainly stimulates the imagination, as did a peculiar hole that formed in an Antarctic glacier. While we can likely chalk both of these instances down to melting ice, there’s a part of us that wants to believe that these are gateways to the one and only Hollow Earth!
UFO Over Disneyland
Strolling down Main Street and into Disneyland can feel like you’ve stepped through a portal into a wonderland of cartoons and fairy tales. But in 2016, one visitor noticed something resembling a portal to hell itself brewing in the skies above Disneyland California.
The visitor, Kyle, explained how when he looked closer, the creepy ring seemed to have things swarming around the edges, which ‘looked like tiny birds’. As Kyle witnessed the strange phenomenon, he described how he experienced a strange gut feeling, as if an alien portal was about to open up and abduct him.
But there may be a plausible explanation. Disney’s Park shows often use lots of pyrotechnics, and smoke rings can be a common by-product of this. Making it much more likely that, in this specific situation, Kyle probably wasn’t seeing an alien portal. And that strange gut feeling? Well, that may’ve just been an undercooked corndog.
But there is another theory. There’s a chance, though tiny and highly unlikely, that what Kyle saw was a wormhole. For this, we’re going to dive into everyone’s favorite topic: physics!
So, up until Einstein’s theory of relativity, our understanding of space was pretty simple. Space was believed to have pretty much the same properties everywhere, following the same set of rules. However, Einstein figured out how the faster something travels through space relative to another object, the slower the first object experiences time.
From this, it was concluded that space and time could be understood as interconnected dimensions of the same whole continuum. Einstein’s understanding of space was somewhat like a trampoline’s surface, whereby the gravity of an object can actually warp space and time, pulling things towards it.
So, if space and time can be warped, some physicists theorize it may be possible that a specialized force could actually poke a hole in time and space, which could make wormholes possible by instantly pinching together two vastly separated points in space.
Of course, this is all pretty complex, but if a wormhole were to occur, it could look similar to what Kyle witnessed at Disneyland: a huge, distorted vortex forming in the atmosphere, sucking in light. Though, with a real wormhole, the light around it would likely be warped in a spherical shape, and world governments would probably be a lot more upset about it.
In ‘Through the Looking-glass’, the sequel to ‘Alice in Wonderland’, Alice ventures through to the other side of a mirror. There, she finds a parallel universe where everything is backwards. While these are just the fantasies of a children’s book, some actually believe there is a world lying beyond the mirror.
Believers claim that reflections are an easy way for spirits and higher beings to access our reality and cite as proof things like the old trick of saying “Bloody Mary” three times in front of the mirror and having her ghostly form seemingly appear. That may sound a little absurd, but there could actually be some truth to it, at least, in the psychological sense.
In 2010, researchers at the University of Urbino carried out an experiment where they had participants intensely stare at their own reflection in a dimly lit room. Shockingly, within less than a minute, participants experienced psychological oddities, whereby their own faces would become distorted, and other sinister forms and faces would appear in the mirror, much like the Bloody Mary trick.
This is called the Caputo Effect and is thought to be caused by the fact that, when staring at an unchanging object or in this case, a face, for a long time, the visual neurons in our brains decrease their activity, making details fade. With this fading visual information, our brains fill the gaps, using data from our expectations and experiences, sometimes with very unnerving results.
Surprisingly, given mirrors’ abilities to twist our surprisingly susceptible brains into perceiving some very otherworldly things indeed, we may well consider them portals to the disturbing dimensions of our own psyche, that is!
Aramu Muru, The Gate of the Gods
In the Hayu Mountains, near Lake Titicaca in Peru, local Shamans routinely perform rituals at a huge rock, named Aramu Muru, but more commonly referred to as the ‘Gate of the Gods’. For generations, local mystics have believed this rock serves as a portal to another dimension, evidenced by the ginormous doorway-like shape carved into it centuries ago.
While more literal thinkers see the structure as merely an abandoned stone carving, left unfinished by builders of the Incan empire, locals insist on something altogether more peculiar.
They speak of people accompanied by strange lights disappearing through the doorway, and that many years ago in this area, a golden disk fell from the sky and into the hands of a priest king, Amaru Muru.
Within the smaller cut out of the rock, there is a small circular compression in the center, which is where Amaru Muru is believed to have placed the celestial disk. As such, he activated the door and summoned a cosmic, interdimensional portal, passing through it, never to be seen again.
Of course, there are no facts backing this theory, and no written records of the carving’s construction exist. Nevertheless, locals continue to report strange sightings around the site, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to give opening the cosmic door a try for myself!
Liminal Spaces Theory
For a few years now, the internet has been abuzz with something known as ‘liminal spaces’. But what exactly are these unusual locations with perplexing properties?
The word liminal originates from the Latin word ‘limen’, which translates to mean ‘threshold’. In the context of the popular liminal spaces shared in images online, a liminal space is a location typically built for passing through rather than dwelling in; a threshold between point A and B. For example, hallways, stairwells, parking lots, and doorways.
However, it’s postulated that when you’re completely alone in one of these spaces, you might begin to experience an unnerving sensation of inescapable isolation, almost as if you’ve stepped into a place disconnected from the rest of reality.
This phenomenon has swept the internet, even leading to a subreddit called ‘liminalspace’, where people share images of particularly suitable liminal spaces. Many even claim they can feel the effects of those lonely liminal spaces just through pictures. These images can be real life photos, computer generated images, or even art.
One viral example is the image of a yellow-tinged, mundane hallway, which bizarrely seems to give most people the heebie-jeebies, and has essentially come to define the idea of liminal spaces. In fact, it even inspired a videogame called ‘The Backrooms’.
With many of these liminal spaces, entering them is reported to feel like you’ve crossed the threshold of a portal into another world, whether that be psychological, or literal. Another whacky idea some have posted online is that liminal spaces are merely the spaces between other worlds.
This theory suggests that liminal spaces are the thresholds between our reality and other similar, yet uncanny realities, with who-knows-what entities awaiting those who delve too far. Of course, this is mostly just fun internet storytelling. But it’s hard to deny the strange feeling elicited by these lonely, almost nostalgic spots.
Envaitenet, The Island Of No Return
Translated from the El-Molo language of Kenya, the word ‘envaitenet’ means ‘no return’. It has suitably come to name Envaitenet Island in Kenya, from where, according to local legend, no one returns.
According to local news sources, in 1935, English explorer, Vivian Fuchs led an expedition to the island with 5 other recruits, after catching wind of the island’s reputation as being cursed. Though he didn’t step foot on the island himself, he bravely sent his companions, W.S. Dyson and W.R.H. Martin, all the while he and the rest of the gang resided safely on the landmass next to the island.
The team devised a system where the two on the island would light their lamps every evening to signal all was well. And all was well, until a few nights later when the signals stopped. Concerned, Fuchs and the team headed over and scoured the island for the men, but to no avail, gone without a trace, as if they were beamed to another dimension.
Thankfully, Fuchs and his other rescue team members made it back from the island, but their lost companions never re-appeared. Unfortunately, details regarding this story are sparse and come from some pretty dubious sources online, so whether it’s true remains open for debate. However, there may indeed be something to the possibility of people disappearing on the island.
One point of note is the island’s distinctly caldera-like appearance, suggesting it’s likely the remnants of an ancient volcano. Given that Lake Turkana, upon which the island sits, is home to several other inert volcano islands, it could be that the island’s crater emits invisible, poisonous, volcanic fumes that suffocate any who descends into the pit, where the gasses are trapped in high concentrations.
Or, in an even wilder theory, it’s conceivable that, if there are unstable magma layers churning below ground, the surface may periodically crack, swallowing up those who step upon it. All before crumbling rocks and drying magma plug the hole back up, sealing away the evidence.
Of course, without analysis of the geological composition of the island’s crater pit, it’s impossible to say for sure whether this is the case, but it’s certainly an interesting idea. Either that, or is this volcanic island is a portal to Hell itself. But I’ll leave that up to you to decide!
The Heaven’s Gate in Tianmen Mountain
In the Hunan region of China, lies the Tianmen Shan, which roughly translates to ‘Heaven’s Gate Mountain’. According to local sources, a huge cave collapsed within the mountain in the year 263 CE, resulting in a 180-foot-wide hole.
And while it’s pretty common for karst formations like this to collapse, what with them being formed of soft, water-soluble rocks, many believe there was divine intervention at the Tianmen Shan. In fact, local legend claims the opening is actually a portal between heaven and Earth.
The story goes that one day, locals saw the cave in Tianmen Shan collapsing. As the rocks slowly crumbled away, it’s said that 5 heavenly clouds emerged, which then parted to reveal ‘Heaven’s Gate’. Suddenly, the voice of the Jade Emperor, the first god in heaven according to Taoist theology, bellowed from the sky, bestowing blessings upon the people.
Thereafter, the mountain was referred to as ‘Heaven’s Gate’. And for centuries now, many have believed it to be a spiritual portal of some kind. Some perceive this spot as a physical portal, others see it as a communication point and spiritual portal connecting believers’ minds to the higher powers.
But when the sun is shining its rays through the gaping maw of the mountain, it’s easy to see how the spiritually inclined may feel themselves entering into an altered state of mind by the sublime sight before them. That said, given the world we live in, it’s probably more likely that this mountain-hole tourist-trap is really just a “portal” to the inevitable gift shop and McDonald’s on the other side.
The Rakotzbrücke bridge in Germany forms a satisfying perfect circle when reflected on water. It seems to form a connection and entry point to the mirrored world below.
As explained previously, circles and their non-linear, endless nature are often associated with portals, and with the reflective water tying into the theories of mirrored surfaces being portals for spirits, you probably won’t be surprised to learn this place has been home to many eerie tales.
The most significant of these comes from medieval times, when numerous masonry bridges like this were constructed throughout Europe. Folks believed the only way these perfect, seemingly gravity-defying bridges could be possible, was if the devil himself had helped build them, resulting in the nickname ‘Devil’s Bridges’.
In return for helping build such a magnificent bridge, the devil would ask for a small fee: the soul of the first human to cross the bridge, who’d be pulled straight off to the underworld.
Of course, these bridges don’t actually defy gravity, and are just meticulously arranged rocks secured with mortar. But, just in case the poor souls who did cross these bridges are now suffering for all eternity in hell, for safety measures, it's probably better to steer clear of these bridges.
And as far as devilish sites are concerned, you’d be even better off avoiding a particular spot in Turkey’s ancient, ruined city of Hierapolis. The location, surrounded by peculiar calcite formations, is home to a shrine known as the ‘Gate to Hell’, which contains unusually high concentrations of Carbon Dioxide.
This naturally produced gas emits from deep within a crack in the Earth, which spills into the shrine. The regular deaths of unfortunate animals that wandered into the shrine and suffocated from the gas were long thought by ancient societies to be slain by demonic entities from the underworld.
Of course, it was really just a bit of bad gas. But with its very real connection to the poisonous bowels of the Earth, this spot is one to avoid lingering too long in, or you truly will have hell to pay!
The Amarnath Cave
Every summer, hundreds-of-thousands of Hindu pilgrims journey to the Amarnath Cave in the Himalayas to worship. It’s common belief that this is where the god, Shiva, revealed the secrets of the universe to his wife, Parvati.
To honor this, Hindus go into the cave, kneeling by the remarkable column of ice formed by the chilly cave’s dripping icy water, and pay their respects, sometimes experiencing enlightenment.
Caves in general are the canter-point of countless tales of spiritual explorers ascending to higher states of mind and enlightened understanding. In the Hindu faith, holy individuals who have committed their lives to spiritual ascension often isolate themselves in caves for months and even years at a time, depriving themselves of worldly pleasures.
This allegedly allows them to reach such depths of meditation that they enter altered states of consciousness, where some claim to be able to contact higher entities. It’s almost as if they’re opening a spiritual gateway to communicate with divine beings, and pilgrims to the Amarnath Cave report similar experiences.
While it could be possible that these spiritual claims are legitimate, it’s also worth noting the psychological side-effects one might experience in a location like this. In a dark cave, particularly when alone, the lack of visual stimuli can actually induce hallucinations as the brain begins to fill in the gaps, in a similar psychological phenomenon to the Caputo Effect.
What’s more, many caves have a less-than-ideal oxygen supply, which can similarly reduce the brain’s functionality, causing people to begin experiencing hallucinations. So, either visitors to the sacred Himalayan site are communing with the divine, or they’re tripping off of the darkness and lack of air.
Real Life Portals
With all this investigation of otherworldly activity, it may be a good idea to, quite literally, come back down to Earth, seeing as there’s actually plenty of magic to be seen in everyday life.
2020 wasn’t exactly a good year for anyone. With no travel and restricted contact, our bustling world suddenly felt extremely disconnected. Which is why the Benediktas Gylys Foundation created a portal.
Or more accurately, they connected the streets of Poland and Lithuania via a live-feed camera portal. As the public shuffled the streets of Poland, they we able to see a live video feed of the people in Lithuania, and vice versa, allowing the two cities to interact.
You might be thinking, ‘that’s not a real portal’. However, from our telephones and E-scooters, to the way in which we’re able to capture moments in time with a camera, we’ve become desensitized to the real-life magic that surrounds us every day. Technology may be commonplace now, but most of it would seem like witchcraft to our ancestors.
So, from the perspective of our predecessors, a street-bound portal to Lithuania, or better yet, a little piece of polished glass and metal you can hold in your hand and instantly visually communicate with people across the world. That’s pretty much the closest thing to a magic portal imaginable. And indeed, one we can definitely prove exists!
If you were amazed at these mysterious places that could be portals to other dimensions, you might want to read this article about mysterious doors that can never be opened. Thanks for reading!