The Case of Minnesota’s ‘Disappearing Waterfall’ Has Been Solved
The case of Minnesota's most mysterious water feature, Devil's Kettle, has been solved.
This waterfall has stumped guests at Judge C.R. Magney State Park in Grand Marais for years. The river splits creating two waterfalls over jagged rock. One flows straight down into the river, the other into a dark abyss.
People have been tossing things into Devil's Kettle forever attempting to find where this water flows to. Logs, ping pong balls, but the force of the water is too powerful and it just creates a blender effect on the items, completely destroying them.
Back in 2017 scientists may have just solved the mystery of where this waterfall ends. The state park is adjacent to Lake Superior, so the original thought was that is where the water came out, but it turns out that isn't the case.
In the fall of 2017 mapping hydrologists used a vegetable-based dye poured into the pothole to trace where the water exited. This fluorescent, biodegradable dye is visible at 10 parts per billion making it easy to identity, and the liquid wouldn't be destroyed by the "blender effect".
DNR mapping hydrologist Jeff Green was in charge of this project and concluded that the water doesn't magically disappear down to the center of the earth, it just rejoins the main river. Green told Vice they don’t know exactly where the water re-emerges, but you can see two distinct “boils” of water at the base of the falls. He suspects the Devil’s Kettle empties out right below where it flows in.
There you have it, the mystery of Minnesota's disappearing waterfall, Devil's Kettle, has been solved. I think I need to add a day trip to this state park this summer to see it for myself.