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In reality, it is a hole in a rock formation that’s only about 20 feet deep. It was likely formed after years of waves crashing down on the same spot, causing erosion which eventually prompted the rock to collapse inward to form a sea cave
When the hole is full, the water fizzles all the way to the top, creating a violent spray that bubbles over the rocks. The water then drains back into the hole. It is constantly overflowing and refilling itself, giving it the appearance that the Pacific Ocean is forever being swallowed by the sinkhole. The ocean pressure and the wind contribute to the majestic geyser-like ocean sprays. Visitors are warned that winter storms in particular are known to agitate the waters around Thor’s Well
However, although the draining and refilling of the hole looks dangerous, ocean experts say it is no more so than any other part of the Oregon coast. At high tide, there is always a risk of a strong undertow pulling someone out to sea, and the sharp rocks and edges that surround Thor’s Well would make falling in an especially unpleasant experience
At low tide when the waves are not quite so fierce, Thor’s Well is calm, which is why locals recommend thrill-seeking tourists who want to see the well at its most impressive visit the location between one hour before high tide and one hour after.
Devil’s Churn, another dubiously-named attraction in Cape Perpetua, is an inlet that has been carved into the rock over many thousands of years. It too is a rock formation that eventually collapsed in on itself. As a result, the water can spray up hundreds of feet into the air at high tide.
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