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The Mystery of Devil's Kettle Falls

When water goes down a hole in the earth and doesn’t come out anywhere that anyone can find, where does it go? It’s a deep and dangerous hole that no one wants to climb down into. Surely there's some way to test that.  

A few miles south of the U.S.-Canadian border, the Brule River flows through Minnesota’s Judge C. R. Magney State Park, where it drops 800 feet in an 8-mile span, creating several waterfalls. A mile and a half north of the shore of Lake Superior, a thick knuckle of rhyolite rock juts out, dividing the river dramatically at the crest of the falls. To the east, a traditional waterfall carves a downward path, but to the west, a geological conundrum awaits visitors. A giant pothole, the Devil’s Kettle, swallows half of the Brule and no one has any idea where it goes. The consensus is that there must be an exit point somewhere beneath Lake Superior, but over the years, researchers and the curious have poured dye, pingpong balls, even logs into the kettle, then watched the lake for any sign of them. So far, none has ever been found.

The name Devil’s Kettle implies that the water pours straight down to hell for Satan’s tea. You have to wonder why no one has thrown a waterproof GPS tracking device down there. After all, we tags marine animals with them all the time. Or maybe a GoPro on a long string. But it’s a great story, and the mystery may be solved one day. Meanwhile, you can read some of the untested theories at Mother Nature Network. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Flickr user Captain Tenneal)

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