Reappear the Hole of Glory, and swallow 1.3 million liters per second

Hole of Glory, in the Berryessa Reservoir, California

After almost 11 years of silence, the Hole of Glory is again active. And it turns the Berryessa Reservoir into one of the attractions of the Napa Valley, north of San Francisco (California, United States). Thousands of curious are approaching from this February 16 to this great mass of water to observe a phenomenon that at times has been confused with a mysterious whirlpool or a natural accident of great dimensions.

Thousands of enigmatic photographs, retouched videos and cryptic messages spread over the past few years through social networks have made Berryessa’s Hole of Glory a bounty that seemed to have no bottom.

Aerial view of the Glory Hole in California

The images captured these days with the help of drones allow us to observe in detail how this 22 meter-diameter and 100-meter-deep sink engulfs almost 1,300 cubic meters per second (1.3 million liters of water per second).

The phenomenon is really spectacular but nothing supernatural. In fact, it is a tubular spillway (known as Glory Hole) of the Monticello Dam, a kind of giant funnel that allows to evacuate the excess water in the Berryessa Reservoir.

The Hole of Glory can gobble up 1.3 million liters of water per second

Practically all of California has lived in recent years one of its most important droughts of the last thousand years. However, in recent weeks, some areas of northern San Francisco have recorded above-average rainfall and the Berryessa reservoir, built for better irrigation in the Sacramento Valley, has returned to a surplus of water. Several media in northern California remember these days that the Glory Hole had not received water since 2006.

Tragedy in the water

The Monticello Dam and the Glory Hole of the Berryessa Reservoir are heavily protected, and it is forbidden to swim or sail in the area near this great and dangerous drain. However, in 1997, Emily Schwalen, a 41-year-old woman from Davis who was swimming near the protection zone, died in this spillway after being dragged by a whirlwind.

The chronicles of the time relate that, without anyone could help her, Emily Schwalen rushed to the Hole of Glory after being 20 minutes clinging to one of its concrete sides.

Overflowing Glory Hole Spillway at Barryessa Lake


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