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Siberia's Valley of Death

Updated on July 18, 2014

The Siberian taiga is a vast stretch of coniferous forests. More than 38610 sq miles are almost completely uninhabited. Basically, it's an ancient forest that remains largely untouched. It seems the perfect setting for myths and legends about strange creatures and bizarre areas. One of the more interesting mysteries is that of a strange location called Uliuiu Cherkechekh - the Valley of Death. It is river valley said to be dotted with unusual, dome-shaped structures, the origins of which are unknown.


Local lore says that hunters of the people in the region who have ventured into these areas have described weird "iron houses" that protrude from the ground. Some of these smooth, reddish structures have an opening at the top. These open to a circular stairwell leading down to a round central chamber that leads to multiple metal rooms. Those that open to the side just appear to be weird shelters, though some have said these are just on their sides. Despite freezing temperatures outside, the interiors are supposed to be quite warm. These structures, referred to as upturned cauldrons and are said to be made of an unknown metal. They are copper-like in color, extremely hard and have sharp edges. No one has been able to remove even a fragment. Over time, the locals noticed that the cauldrons were gradually sinking into the ground and disappearing. Once this happened large patches with odd vegetation is the only indication that something was there.


Health Concerns

These places are considered very dangerous. The locals do not know who built them or why, though they link them with a couple of ancient demons. Probably because staying too long is said to cause you dizziness, nausea, fever and leaves a person vulnerable to contract an unknown illness that can be fatal. For this reason, long ago elders warned against visiting such areas. This warning didn't stop everyone though, hunters would sleep in them on occasion when on long hunting trips. Recent expeditions to the area reported the same symptoms, though no explanation could be found.


Yakutian Legends

Yakut legends contain many instances of explosions, fiery whirlwinds and fireballs rising into the air. All of these are associated with the metal constructions found in the Valley of Death. Most of this is retold in the form of epic poems and the events take place in a remote time. Please keep in mind these stories come from an spoken history that has been passed to successive generations. It is believed that the beginnings go back to well over 1000 years ago, but no one can pinpoint exact time frames.

A very long time ago a nearby people of the noticed their neighbors lands shrouded in darkness. A huge storm covered them, shook the land with thunder and lightning. Later, when the storm passed, the people witnessed a strange sight. Set on the devastated land was a tall structure. It reflected the sun and was visible at a great distance. Over a period of time, the structure gave out unpleasant, grinding noise as it slowly sank into the ground. When it was gone, only an immense, vertical hole remained. According to legend, it contained three tiers of "laughing chasms". The pit was said to contain an underground land with its own sun, though the sun was dieing. No one could go near it because of a horrible stench, but from a distance, people sometimes saw a "rotating island" above the opening. They called this island a "banging lid".

Generations later, there was an earthquake and a thin "fiery whirlwind" topped by a fireball appeared to hover over the hole. With a trail of fire and a "succession of thunderclaps", this sphere shot beyond the horizon and exploded. The nomads believed that the "demon" must be a protector because it did not harm them. However, it did destroy the lands of a hostile neighboring tribe. A few decades later, the same thing happened, so they named their demon Niurgun Bootur - the Fiery Champion. The next time this happened, they weren't so lucky. A huge fireball rose from the pit and exploded overhead, affecting the land for miles around. Quakes rocked the area and split the hills. The center became a "raging sea of fire" with a disc-like rotating island above it. Tribes fled in all directions, many being stuck by a strange illness. An illness the noticed they passed to their children.

There are other legends that record similar events, and the introduction of another demon. Unfortunately, I can't find a coherent source. I don't know if something has been lost in translation, improperly translated or if the legends have always been a bit confusing. As you have probably noticed, some of the legends have a few contradictions. Maybe something changed over the generations or again something was lost in translation. These explosions are supposed to happen ever 600 - 800 years, so if it's true we'll probably catch the next one.

Recent Descriptions

There are modern stories of people who by accident or intentional searching have stumbled upon the cauldrons. Mikhail Korecky from Vladivostok wrote to a newspaper that he’d been to the Valley of Death three times. The first time was in 1933 when he was 10, the second in 1937, and the last in 1947 with some friends. He saw a total of seven cauldrons and stated that all looked ood. The vegetation around them was also peculiar, thicker and bigger than the usually plants in the region. On the last visit, Korecky and his friends spent the night in a cauldron. Although nothing out of the ordinary happened that night, one friend lost all his hair within 3 months and Korecky developed 3 small sores on his left cheek that never healed.

In 1936 a geologist visiting the Olguidakh River, found a cauldron that was partially submerged. He described it as a smooth hemisphere of metal 2cm thick, with sharp edges. The opening for this structure was tall enough for a person riding a reindeer to enter easily. The geologist sent its description to the capital city. Today his journal is used by scholars and researchers as a reference.

In 1979 that an expedition set out to find the geologists cauldron. Despite having a guide, an old settler who claimed to have seen the cauldrons in his youth, the expedition failed to locate them. The area where it was said to be had changed quite a bit over the years. The plant life in the area had become to thick to navigate properly. The scientist went home empty handed but interest in the subject remains.


Extraterrestrial Theory

Ufologists believe that these cauldrons are the remains of UFOs wreckage of an ancient accident or an aerial battle. Russian researcher Dr Valerey Uvarov thinks they are connected to a power plant located inside the Earth. This plant is used used to power a weapon to protect our planet from dangers from space. He says, extraterrestrials built them long ago and they now operate automatically, having shot down the Tunguska meteorite in 1908, the Chulym meteorite in 1984, and the Vitim meteorite in 2002.

In fact, most of the information I found on the subject is how it supposedly proves aliens exist. I also found a video clip on YouTube about it but since it was recorded from TV I was unsure of copyright issues. While I do not subscribe to this theory, it is interesting to read. If these are real, and I believe they are. I lean more towards a human explanation. Though it may sound outlandish, I think we have reached higher levels of technology before, we just keep blowing ourselves up. Like the Great Pyramids, stating extraterrestrials constructed them takes away from human achievement.

What do you think is really going on?

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The Story Continues

Whatever you belief on the matter, the subject is intriguing. People who can get to this remote area are still out there looking. New stories are still coming out, eventually we may know what is going on out there. Then again, we may not. The quest for knowledge sometimes leads down weird winding paths. For those who explore where they lead, almost anything is possible.


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    • Katrina Speights profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Texas

      Glad you liked it! I have heard about the "walking rocks" too and was surprised when I heard about it. The only other place I have heard of with a similar occurrence is in South America.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      4 years ago from West By God

      Very interesting. There are many places on this earth that have strange phenomenon. Right here in the valley in the mid-west they have what is known as the walking rocks. The rocks really do walk across the desert. I would have no know about this if you didn't write about it either. Good job and thanks!

    • Katrina Speights profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Texas

      Enjoy looking into it further, some of the stories about the place are down right bizarre.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Very intriguing hub. Never heard of Siberia's Valley of Death, but I'd love to find out more. You have peaked my curiosity.

    • Katrina Speights profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Texas

      Glad you liked it. I think I's harder to get information about areas like this because of the language barrier, but I could be wrong.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very interesting, Katrina. I have heard of Siberia, of course, but never about these things. Thanks for the information.

    • Katrina Speights profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Texas

      No, I've never left North America, though I would like to see this area. I've been racking my brain for a place I vaguely remember from my early childhood in the Rockies that had weird things going on. The lore of the area was very rich but I can't recall where it was. It is just something that has stuck with me. I know the area around Skin Walker Ranch is supposed to be very active in the paranormal, not just on the ranch itself, and I am considering writing something on it.

    • word55 profile image

      Al Wordlaw 

      4 years ago from Chicago

      Hi Katrina, I would be curious to know how far in those ares I could go. Of course, I'd have a hunting rifle and pistol with plenty of rounds just to be safer. I'd be venturing into the unknown. Otherwise, I'd hope to see and take pictures of very interesting wild life. Have you ever ventured into a place like would you've described here?

    • Katrina Speights profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Texas

      Thanks, I found it quiet interesting myself. I was actually surprised that it wasn't covered more. Well it may be, just not in English.

    • boutiqueshops profile image


      4 years ago from Corpus Christi, Texas

      What a fascinating place and I would never have known it existed if it wasn't for your hub. Well done!


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