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Mount Chimaera

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Mount Chimaera

An eternal flame, ascending from Mount Olympos - subject to various myths

According to Greek mythology, Chimaera's terrifying brood of brothers and sisters included Hydra, Cerberus and Sphinx; but it was Chimaera who took up residence in Lycia and caused great chaos and destruction. Eventually, Bellerophon, riding Pegasus, defeated Chimaera by raining arrows and, finally, a lump of lead into the creature's mouth. But his fire-breathing nature was never forgotten.

It's easy to see why people would attribute something so other-wordly to long-gone myths - why shouldn't these flames come from the breath of a snake-lion-goat hybrid beast? It's not like any other mountains in the region are also on fire. But now we know that gas seeping from Mt. Olympos, thought to contain methane, bursts into flame upon contact with the air (or your guide's lighter). Whether you're into the science or the myth, Chimaera is a must-see destination.

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