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Mount Chimaera

Mount Chimaera was the name of a place in ancient Lycia, notable for constantly burning fires. It is thought to be the area called Yanartaş in Turkey, where methane and other gases emerge from the rock and burn. Some ancient sources considered it to be the origin of the myth of the monster called the Chimera, because of similarities described below.


Ctesias is the oldest traceable author to offer this euhemerizing theory. We know of this because of a citation by Pliny the Elder, who in his second book of Historia Naturalis identified the Chimaera with the permanent gas vents in Mount Chimera, in the country of the ancient Lycian city of Phaselis, which he described as being "on fire", adding that it "...indeed burned with a flame that does not die by day or night". Pliny was quoted by Photius and Agricola.