Waterfall to Nowhere: The Mystery of Devil’s Kettle Falls

Located in Judge C.R Magney State Park, Minnesota, just off the shore of Lake Superior, Devil’s Kettle Falls is one of the most mysterious geological phenomenon in the world. The Brule River flows down from an elevation of about 800 feet to end in a magnificent series of waterfalls. Normally, this wouldn’t be so mysterious, but towards the beginning of the falls, a rocky spar separates the column of water into two halves. One flows 50 feet down until it reaches the bottom, continuing the river which eventually empties into Lake Superior. The other half drops down 30 feet into a pothole called the Devil’s Kettle, and no one can figure out what happens to the water after that. Scientists and amateur explorers have been experimenting on it for years to try and crack the mystery, to no avail.

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Solving the Mystery

Most people assume the water would have to eventually empty into Lake Superior, because that’s the nearest large body of water, but no one has been able to confirm that 100%. Scientists have poured special bright dyes into the water to try and trace the flow, and amateur scientists and excited hikers have put all sorts of things from ping-pong balls to tree trunks, even a car (if you believe local legend), into the Devil’s Kettle to try and figure out where it ends up. No one has ever found a single object that they’ve dropped into the mouth of the Kettle. Enthusiastic explorers have suggested dropping a camera or a GPS into the falls, but all of those suggestions were vetoed. Any GPS signal would immediately be lost underground, and a camera would be shattered instantly, due to the initial drop into the pothole.