The Sessho-seki or "Killing Stone" is a landmark volcanic rock found in the mountains of Japan near Nasu. According to the local mythology, the stone itself is actually the transformed corpse of Tamamo-no-Mae, a beautiful woman who is also an evil nine-tailed fox (like ya do) and was involved in a secret plot to kill Emperor Toba in the twelfth century. While Tamamo-no-Mae's spirit has remained trapped since then, it is believed that anyone who touches the stone will be immediately killed (hence the "Killing Stone" moniker).
Anyway the rock just split open, meaning that the ghost of Tamamo-no-Mae may have been set free. As The Guardian reports:
Predictions of dark forces being unleashed by an evil vixen hung over social media in Japan on Monday after a famous volcanic rock said to kill anyone who comes into contact with it was found split in two.
Its separation into two roughly equal parts, believed to have occurred within the past few days, has spooked online users who noted that, according to folklore, the stone continually spews poisonous gas – hence its name.
While others speculated that the demon spirit of Tamamo-no-Mae had been resurrected after almost 1,000 years, local media said cracks had appeared in the rock several years ago, possibly allowing rainwater to seep inside and weaken its structure.
Or, as one Twitter user put it, "I feel like I've seen something that shouldn't be seen."
Japan's 'killing stone' splits in two, releasing superstitions amid the sulphur springs [Justin McCurry / The Guardian]
Image: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons