The Mystery Behind Minnesota’s Devil’s Kettle Waterfall Has Been Solved

Minnesota’s Brule River is the source of a unique phenomenon that’s been puzzling locals, tourists, and scientists alike. Flowing not too far from the northern shore of Lake Superior, the Brule hits a divide as it travels through a cluster of volcanic rock that juts out in Judge C. R. Magney State Park. Split in two by the rocky fork, the river begins flowing both east and west. To the east, a waterfall is born, cascading half the river down into a pool, where it eventually meets up with the lake. But that western fork is a whole different story.

Unlike its eastern twin, the waterfall at the other end of this fork seemingly pours into nothingness. Called the “Devil’s Kettle,” this natural, rocky void has no obvious explanation on or below the surface. People have tried to solve the case of the bottomless waterfall by dropping ping pong balls into the pothole and casting dyes in an attempt to mark the water, but none of those plans have given anyone any clue as to where all this water is going. That is until Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources got involved.

By measuring the water volume both above and below the Kettle, two hydrologists, Heather Emerson and Jon Libbey, found the numbers at each location were nearly identical. This finding suggests that the Devil’s Kettle waterfall likely rejoins the river underground shortly after the fork.

"What we think is happening is the water is going in the kettle, and coming up pretty close to immediately downstream of the falls," Jeff Green, a hydrologist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, told Minnesota Public Radio.

The volume of water was flowing 123 cubic feet per second above the falls and 121 cubic feet per second several hundred feet downstream from the Kettle. In the fall of 2017, Green and retired University of Minnesota professor Calvin Alexander are planning to pour a biodegradable dye into the Kettle to get a more accurate reading on where and how the water meets back up with the river downstream.

So will the end of the mystery also mean the end of the Kettle’s allure? For some people, perhaps, but as Green points out, “it will still be a fascinating spot, and a beautiful spot."

The 10 Most Stressed-Out States in America

iStock.com/Creative-Family
iStock.com/Creative-Family

Stress levels are on the rise across the U.S. According to an American Psychiatric Association-sponsored survey, nearly 40 percent of people reported feeling more anxious in 2018 than they did last year. But tensions are running higher in some states than others. To see which states have the most stressed-out residents, check out the list below from Zippia.

To compile the ranking, the job search engine scored each state in America on six criteria: commute times, unemployment rates, work hours, population density, home price to income ratio, and rates of uninsured residents. After sifting through data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey for 2012 through 2016, they came up with the top 10 states where stress levels are highest.

New Jersey nabbed the top spot because of its lengthy commute times, long work hours, and a high housing cost to income ratio. Georgia, with its high unemployment and uninsured rates, came in second place. And despite all the sunshine and beautiful coastlines, Florida and California residents still have plenty to be stressed about, with the states ranking third and fourth, respectively.

1. New Jersey
2. Georgia
3. Florida
4. California
5. New York
6. Louisiana
7. Maryland
8. North Carolina
9. Virginia
10. Mississippi

The most stressed-out states in America tend to fall on the coasts, with Midwestern states like Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa enjoying the lowest stress levels, according to a 2017 analysis from WalletHub. To see where your state ranks, you can check out the full map of high-anxiety states on Zippia's website. If you see your home state near the top of the list, consider implementing a few of these relaxation strategies into your daily routine.

See How Metros in the World's Biggest Cities Intersect on Aerial Maps

Paris
Paris
Dadapp94, Reddit

In cities around the world, subways form massive networks that snake under the urban landscape, creating systems that we're familiar with seeing in the form of colored, intersecting lines on a poster, but basically can never see from above ground.

Luckily, the cartography and transit nerds of the internet have you covered. A number of users on Twitter, Tumblr, and forums like Reddit's r/MapPorn have created image mashups of subway lines overlaid with aerial images of urban environments, showing what cities would look like from above if their massive transit networks were above ground. CityLab recently collected some of the most compelling ones, and they're fascinating to examine. (The one above, of Paris, was created by Reddit user Dadapp94.)

Below are a few of our favorites:

Here's London:

And New York:

Here's one of Amsterdam that was posted to r/MapPorn by Reddit user Conducteur:

An aerial photo of Amsterdam with subway lines represented by colored lines
Amsterdam's railway and subway lines
Conducteur, Reddit

And one of Milan, posted by Reddit user medhelan:

An aerial view of Milan with colored lines representing subway paths
Milan
medhelan, Reddit

To see more aerial shots like this, head over to CityLab. And if you love aerial images of infrastructure as much as we do, we also recommend these photos of airports seen from above.

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