Friday, July 20, 2018

Mystery to Monument: The Devil’s Kettle Water Foundation

In Judge C.R. Magney State Park on the North Shore of Lake Superior lives a fascinating geological mystery: The Devil’s Kettle.

The Devil’s Kettle is part rock formation, part waterfall, and complete conundrum. The Brule River runs until it hits the rocks at the top of a waterfall, then it splits in two. The right fork cascades down like a typical waterfall and the left fork appears to vanish into a large hole below. Then… it disappears. There’s no apparent entrance back into the river for the water that plunges into the kettle. It’s been called the Waterfall to Nowhere.
Image by aaronHwarren via Flickr

Visitors and scientists attempted to solve the mystery of where the water entering the Devil’s Kettle ends up for years. Some tossed in ping-pong balls, branches, and – legend has it – a car to see where they rejoin the river downstream. For a long time, no one could figure it out – the objects just kept disappearing.

That is, until last year when two scientists – a retired professor and a hydrologist – measured the water volume of the Brule River right before it plunges down the falls and again at the bottom. The results? The volume is nearly identical, leading them to believe that the exit to the Devil’s Kettle is a short distance away, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

If you’re looking to test your own theories, by tossing in a handful of leaves or nearby branch, be prepared for a bit of a hike. Getting to Devil’s Kettle is about a 2.5 miles round trip, but there are plenty of benches to rest and enjoy the scenery along the way. In our opinion, it’s totally worth it to see one of the coolest water formations in the state!

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