Researchers Name New Snake After Traditional Chinese Myth

As if we needed more bad news from around the world.

On Monday, Japanese social media users sounded the alarm when a famous boulder said to inhibit a demon was found split in two.

The boulder, known as sesshoseki or "killing stone" is a famous landmark in Nasu, Japan. The boulder sits atop a mountain of volcanic rock and is a popular sightseeing spot.

According to Japanese mythology, the boulder contains the spirit of Tamamo-no-Mae a nine-tailed fox who assumed the facade of a beautiful woman in order to kill Emperor Toba. The emperor ruled from 1107 to 1123.

New of the rock's splitting took hold after a Twitter user @Lily0727K posted a photo of the rock and said, "I feel like I've seen something that shouldn't be seen."

Legend says the nine-tailed fox demoness was imprisoned in a piece of lava in the Tochigi prefecture, the northern mountainous region of Japan.

The head of a local tour guide organization, Masaharu Sugawara, confirmed to Yomiuri Shimbun, a Japanese news outlet, that the rock indeed had split it two, likely due to natural causes. "It’s natural, so it can’t be helped, but it’s a shame because it’s a symbol of the local area," Sugawara said.

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Apparently, the boulder is so strong anyone who comes into contact with it, will die.

But now that the stone is broken, people on social media are speculating if the nine-tailed fox demoness will return and how local authorities will go about restoring the rock- if at all.

"It has a long history and is a valuable tourist resource, so it should be good to collect debris or rewind the rope," Twitter user @cast_marble_86 said.

Local and national authorities are said to meet to make a decision about the boulder, "There are no plans to restore it at this time." However, there are some voices requesting restoration, so it is said that the response will be decided after consultation with the parties concerned," an official told Shimotsuke Shimbun.

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