World Atlas wonders about Devil's Kettle
Oct 14, 2019 06:39AM
Photo: World Atlas
By Ferdinand Bada of World Atlas - October 14, 2019
The Devil’s Kettle refers to an unusual waterfall that is located within the Judge C. R. Magney State Park, in the US state of Minnesota. The park itself lies within the state’s Lake Superior northern region, which is just a few miles from the US border with Canada. The most peculiar thing that has baffled experts for so long is that a pothole seems to drain around 50% of the Brule River’s water. The waterfall itself lies some 1.5 miles from the Brule’s mouth. At some point, the river branches off into two parts namely the eastern and the western branches that flow on to form waterfalls. However, the western flow is the one that ends up seemingly draining into a pothole and it has been given the nickname the “Waterfall to Nowhere.”
Speculations Over The Years
Over the years, there have been several reports of people dropping things into the pothole that ended up disappearing beneath the ground. The reason why people have believed that the objects they throw disappear underground is because the items do not resurface downstream. For this reason, most people assumed that the river must have an alternative outlet that is unknown. Others theorized that the water went even deeper underground to link up with a different watershed.
This interesting phenomenon baffled the world for decades with an answer seemingly out of reach. For one thing, the rock formation in the region does not allow for underground passages or something similar that might explain the water drainage. The only kinds of rocks that allow for that behavior are porous kinds such as limestone. Further, no known fault lines are present that may lend depth to the theory of underground channels.
The Truth Behind The Devil’s Kettle
After scientists conducted simple tests in 2016, they discovered that the truth is even more interesting than the ostensibly disappearing water. Based on their findings, the water does not disappear at all. Based on a suggestion from a hydrologist named Jeff Green, two experts from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) measured the flows. The two measured the volume of water above the falls as well as below them. The simple stream-gauging method revealed that the water’s volume was almost the same in both cases.
The conclusion, in an announcement that was made in 2017 by the DNR, was that no water is being lost to another outlet as previously theorized. The water simply got back into the stream at the fall’s base. However, the experts could not determine the exact point where the water re-emerged although they made a few theories. They wanted to conduct a simple dye experiment to determine the exact point of re-emergence although the park discouraged the idea. As for the various objects that were thrown, the only explanation they could come up with is that the items are smashed into pieces before they can get out. Anything that is not smashed is simply held down by the powerful whirlpools from the water.
To read the original article, follow this link to the Word Atlas website. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/where-is-the-devil-s-kettle.html