Dante and Virgil continue to walk through the filthy dark air, and Dante sees what he believes are the towers of a city in the distance. Virgil tells Dante that these are not towers, but giants, seen from the waist up, standing in a pit and guarding the very floor of Hell. As they approach, they hear a terrifying blast of a horn blown by one of the giants, Nimrod. In the Bible, Nimrod was the builder of the tower of Babel, and as they approach he speaks to them in a language of gibberish, only understood by him.
Virgil convinces a different giant to let them pass and descend to the bottom of Hell. Virgil and Dante are then transported by the giant, Antaeus, who cradles them in the palm of his huge hand and gently lowers then down to the bottom of the pit. Dante and Virgil are now on the floor of Hell, which turns out to be a frozen lake called Cocytus. The two then begin their journey on the floor of ice to the very epicenter of evil.