Jacob’s Well. Texas, USA
For those who don’t know this well seems an abyss, and people jumping into it are crazy! Actually, it is a popular tourist attraction, which beckons both locals and tourists for many years. It is called Jacob’s Well and is located on the “Cypress Creek” in the town of Wimberley, Texas, USA. The well represents an inexhaustible artesian spring; the transparent water creates the feeling of flying into an empty space while jumping.
This perennial underwater cave with a diameter of 4 meters derives from the most extensive underwater cave system in the state of Texas. The cave vertically goes deep into the rocks for about 10 meters, and then branches out into the endless underwater corridors, extending in unknown directions. These branchings are cameras, or even grottos, with narrow isthmuses covered with thick sludge; the total length is about forty meters. Brave souls, who have been in these grottos, say that in total there are four caves at the bottom, located a few dozen of feet below the surface. The first cave can be found at a depth of 30 feet, which stretches to a depth of 55 feet. It is well lighted, and has many kinds of fish and algae. The second cave is located at a depth of 80 feet. It has a narrow entrance, which lures the divers into a trap.
The bottom of some caves is covered with layers of limestone and loose gravel, and if they are stirred up, it will be almost impossible to find a way out of the underwater trap. Thus, the passage between the second and the third caves is hampered with gravel, and here the divers try to be especially careful in order not to touch the bottom. The entrance to the fourth cave is even more difficult. Few people saw it, therefore it is called “virginal cave.” No one has ever completely explored the farthest corners of the underwater cave network. This is a threat to life of the curious divers – for today eight divers have died in the process of research of the cave.
Several thousand years ago, the Jacob’s Well was a semblance of a geyser and a powerful flow of artesian water was beating to a height of 10 meters. This picturesque spring has always been considered eternal, but lately it starts to dry out. The lowering of the aquifer has resulted in a decrease of the water level in the well. Since then, from the second half of the twentieth century, divers began to explore the cave.
In 1980, after a series of accidents, in order to prevent such tragedies, the entrance to the well was closed by setting a special lattice of reinforcement and by concreting of one of the chambers of the cave. However, these warnings didn’t stop the brave divers, and all these superstructures were eventually removed.
The karstic spring attracts not only the divers, but also scientists and artists. Tourists appreciate this place as one of the most significant natural, geological Texas treasures.