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Incredible 75ft Wide ‘Portal From Hell’ Opens In Lake With A 200ft Drop

Daisy Phillipson

| Last updated 

Incredible 75ft Wide ‘Portal From Hell’ Opens In Lake With A 200ft Drop

A baffling vortex described as a ‘portal from hell’ has opened up in a lake in the US

The 75ft-wide spinning vortex once again occurred at Lake Berryessa, the largest lake in Napa County, California.

When the water levels get too high, excess water is sucked into a huge hole, creating the baffling effect known by locals as the ‘Glory Hole’. 

Think of it like a gigantic bathtub and the vortex is the spinning whirlpool you see in the water when you pull the plug. 

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

As outlined by The Mirror, the hole was once again spotted on the surface of the lake, which happens when water rises above 15ft. 

Prior to this, the hole has opened up before, in 2017 after a bout of heavy rain for the first time since 2006, and again in 2019, which attracted countless curious onlookers. 

Sharing pictures of the phenomenon on Twitter, one woman wrote: “Here’s the glory hole at Lake Berryessa. 

“It’s about 20 miles from my house. Fun boarding and trout fishing. Even though blocked from boats, still ominous.”

The vortex is due to a huge spillway, which was built as an alternative to the more commonly used chute by engineers in the 1950s to control the flow of water. 

The drain-like feature is situated near the dam on the southeast side of the reservoir, and is capable of swallowing around 1,360 cubic metres of water (48,000 cubic feet) per second when it’s over capacity. 

In 2017, many spectators visited the area to see the so-called Glory Hole, which drops straight down more than 200ft.

The reservoir is roped off and prohibits swimming or boating to ensure the safety of visitors. 

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Before stricter safety measures were in place, in 1997, a woman named Emily Schwalek was killed after being sucked into the vortex. 

Authorities said at the time that witnesses reported seeing Schwalek swimming near the spillway.

It was said that she spent 20 minutes gripping on to the edge of the hole before dropping out of sight. 

Her body was found several hours later in Lower Putah Creek.

Today, it’s difficult to get close to the Glory Hole at any time due to the barriers put in place. 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: US News

Daisy Phillipson
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