The infamous Sessho-seki, a protected boulder in the volcanic area of Mount Nesu in Japan, has split. The break occurred around March 5, 2022. A legend says the stone was the prison of the evil nine-tailed fox demoness Tamamo-no-Mae and that anyone who touched it died. Some people fear that evil has been released into the world. In reality, the stone had been cracked for a while and held by a rope. The rock likely split from natural weathering processes. The area is known for sulfur hot springs and potentially poisonous gases which may have contributed to the “killing stone” myth.

Source: The Guardian (U.K.)

UPDATE 10-April 2023

Nine months after the Sessho-seki split, 8 wild boars were found dead at the site, leading observers to say that the legend was true. But wild pigs are not people. The animals were likely overcome by the toxic gases in this geothermal area. Boars are lower to the ground and can be asphyxiated by the gases quicker than a human walking upright. This was the first time people recalled boars being affected by the gasses.

Source: Japan Today (19-Dec-2022)

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