At first glance, some may wonder if this bizarre hole is a watery vortex into another dimension. But not to worry; it’s not some UFOs or supernatural phenomena. In fact, this perfectly round phenomenon is man-made, and it has attracted quite the attention for its mesmerizing drainage of surplus water.
In today's Scenic Saturday photo, we're sharing photos of Monticello Dam's unique spillway, also known as a Glory Hole…
A gaping hole at Lake Berryessa in California is the spillway constructed for the 304-foot-high dam, and it’s a sight to behold when it’s doing what it does best—drain water.
After the lake’s water exceeds its capacity of 521 billion gallons (approx. 1.97 trillion liters), the “Glory Hole” spillway acts as a drain for excess water to prevent flooding. The water flows over the lip of the hole, funnels down the cone, and exits into Putah Creek, located on the other side of the Monticello Dam.
Following years of dry weather in California, it has been over a decade since the spillway has been seen in action. After years of drought, the lake finally received enough rain to exceed the lake’s capacity, and the immense hole once again played its intended role in February 2017.
After a couple of months of heavy rain at the beginning of the year, the eye-catching scene of water disappearing into this wormhole-like structure attracted hundreds of locals, who gathered to watch the spectacular sight.
“I went up there the other day and there were about 15 drones flying around and people taking videos,” said Kevin King, an operations manager at the Solano Irrigation District, which oversees the day-to-day activities at the dam.
“It’s really dramatic to watch.”
There is another giant hole, known as Ladybower Plughole, draining millions of gallons of water into it.
Ladybower Plughole is one of the two 80-foot (24-meter) in diameter man-made bell-mouth spillways (or giant stone drains) located at Ladybower Reservoir, in the Derbyshire Peak District, England.
In the footage captured by Patrick Dickinson, overflowing water races down into the Ladybower Plughole in a series of cascades following heavy rain.
As a matter of fact, this spectacular sight only occurs after a massive downpour. Most of the year, the top of the bellmouth of the Ladybower Plughole is rarely submerged and is usually above the water level.
“Although it may look like it’s struggling, it’s not the case. The reservoir is actually doing exactly what it was designed to do by draining away surplus water, which is entirely normal for this time of year,” Ian Hope, Severn Trent Water’s dams and reservoir manager, told Daily Express.
The wonder of the Ladybower Reservoir ‘plughole’… pic.twitter.com/y3D7ES8hcv
— BBC Radio Derby (@BBCDerby) March 10, 2017
“The ‘plughole’ like structure is taking surplus water from the reservoir and feeding it into the river Derwent and local streams. It is known as an overflow—which is called a ‘morning glory spillway’—because it is shaped just like the flower!” Hope added.
“It is designed drain [sic] away an awful lot more water than it’s currently doing. When the reservoir is full it always drains away water, which helps us to manage the reservoir levels carefully. And as you can see, it also looks absolutely stunning when it’s at work.”
Check out the giant holes churning with gallons of water. Wow … this is absolutely mind-blowing!