Why Hell Stinks of Sulfur: Mythology and Geology of the Underworld Salomon Kroonenberg

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352 pages


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Why Hell Stinks of Sulfur: Mythology and Geology of the Underworld  by  Salomon Kroonenberg

Why Hell Stinks of Sulfur: Mythology and Geology of the Underworld by Salomon Kroonenberg
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We know almost everything about the exterior of the earth, but for most people its interior is completely unknown. Beneath us, stretching for a distance comparable to that between Paris and New York, lies an underground realm associated with darknessMoreWe know almost everything about the exterior of the earth, but for most people its interior is completely unknown.

Beneath us, stretching for a distance comparable to that between Paris and New York, lies an underground realm associated with darkness and death. It has inspired writers and artists since time immemorial- when trying to imagine hell, they have usually located it under the ground.In Why Hell Stinks of Sulfur, geologist Salomon Kroonenberg uses subterranean mythology as his point of departure. Starting with Dante’s Inferno, he takes the reader on a journey in the footsteps of Homer, Virgil, Leonardo, Descartes and Jules Verne. Along the way he turns a scientific spotlight on the background to myths of the underworld.

At a small lake near Naples he searches for the gates of hell, as described in Virgil’s Aeneid.Describing the multi-layered nature of the inside of the earth, exposing colours, gasses, liquids and metals as well as underground rivers and lakes, Kroonenberg sees the earth beneath our feet as a source of information about this unimaginably ancient planet. We have never penetrated beyond a depth of 12 kilometres, but beneath us is a unique archive, a living ecosystem whose riches we can still barely guess at.Why Hell Stinks of Sulfur is a fascinating search for the geological foundations of hell and also an appeal to find ways to ensure that mankind’s thirst for natural resources does not exhaust the earth.



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