Lake Berryessa is the seventh-largest human-made lake in the state of California. The lake was first filled in the 1950s after construction was completed. At over 300 feet tall, the dam supplies water and electricity to nearly 600,000 people in the surrounding areas of the Sacramento Valley and San Francisco’s North Bay.
Lake Berryessa is one of the most popular lakes in Northern
California. Situated in the middle of Napa County, it’s famous for not only
picturesque scenery but also a mysterious hole right in the middle of the lake.
If you feel like you’ve seen this lake before, it may be due
to its appearance in a James Bond flick. However, that’s not what it’s popular
for. The lake’s main claim to fame is the mysterious hole in it.
A man recently discovered the hole and the discovery lead to
a bunch of new discoveries:
The Unexpected Discovery
The hole was discovered by Evan K, a popular YouTuber, and
One fine day, he was busy enjoying the beautiful lake when
his drone identified the hole. He initially thought it was a glitch – how can
there be a hole in the middle of a lake? – but the discovery was soon
confirmed as he replayed the footage.
Evan works at a water sports rental store and is well aware
of water bodies in the area. He was surprised that such a huge discovery stayed
a secret for such a long period of time.
It Remained Unexplained
Evan was not sure of the hole at first. He thought it was a
camera issue, or he imagined things. He did a double-take to verify the
presence of the hole and was quite shocked by what he saw.
It was a massive hole right in the middle of the lake. Evan
scrutinized the shot from various angles in order to understand the cause of
the hole, but he could not reach a conclusion.
The image made no sense to him or others around him. Nobody
had seen anything like this before, and the hole remained a mystery.
A Natural Drain
According to Evan, the hole appeared like a natural drain,
as if someone had pulled the plug, but he could not explain where the water was
Being a curious person, Evan decided to study more about all
the possibilities. He first had to be sure he was right about the presence of
He verified it by taking multiple shots from different
angles, and once he was sure he had discovered a hole in the lake, he was ready
to know more about it.
All The Possibilities
There was no answer to the question, in the books or on the
We have heard of the Bermuda Triangle, but nobody has been
able to explain it. This hole in the middle of Lake Berryessa was quite similar
Evan discussed the scenario with different people, and they
all had their own interpretation, but most agreed that the scene was out of
this world. It appears quite like something you’d see on the big screen in a
Since he couldn’t find any explanation for the hole’s
existence, Evan decided to fly the drone one more time and inspect the hole
from other sides. He had to get a better view of the hole, not only for himself
but also for everyone else who was excited about the discovery.
After all, this finding was going to change the world.
Scientists and experts finally had one more unexplained phenomenon to take care
Up, Close, and Personal
Evan wanted people to know about the existence of this
mysterious hole in Lake Berryessa, and he knew it would not be possible unless
he had more proof and information on the hole.
He flew the drone over the top of the hole and was surprised
at what happened next.
There’s a Barrier
It became impossible for Evan to take a closer look at the
hole as his gadget malfunctioned just as he got right at the top of the hole.
He was excited about being able to see the hole from a new angle, but the
screen suddenly went blank due to an equipment malfunction.
This was the first time Evan’s system had given such an
error. It is normal for drones to give an error, but Evan was sure there was a
hidden cause to it.
Even could not afford to lose the drone. He had to get it
back to the shore quickly, but he had a lot of questions. Was this mysterious
hole causing the drone to malfunction? What was inside the hole? Is it some
kind of magic?
The Drone Survived
Evan was able to pilot his device back to the shore without
any damage. He quickly inspected the drone for any sign of damage and was
relieved as he saw no harm.
He checked the cause of the glitch and noticed that the unit
was low on battery. However, he was sure that the glitch was due to some other
reason. He believed that some force was pulling his device deeper into the
He was hopeful of finding more clues in the footage and
decided to view it.
Do It One More Time
He was even was able to record a good portion of the hole
from different angles before he had to pilot the unit back to the shore. While
the footage provided some new angles, it did not give Evan a view into the
Since it was not possible and safe to swim to the hole or
take a boat, Evan decided to fly his drone one more time. He loved his drone,
but he was willing to take the risk to find out more about the mysterious Lake
Preparing For the Next Adventure
Now that Evan was aware of the powers of the hole, he knew
he had to do some preparations. He did not want the gravitational pull to suck
in his drone.
He planned to use his drone in a clever manner and not let
it go out of control.
A Little Bit of Knowledge
I even decided to study more about Lake Berryessa. He was
curious about the hole.
He wondered if anyone had seen it before or if it had
recently appeared. Questions like these were all over his head. Hence he
decided to check the internet and clear his confusion.
It Gets Deeper
Evan was quite disappointed as he could find nothing about
the hole on the internet. There was no image that matched the hole he had seen.
He also studied the presence of other similar holes in the world but found no
answers to his questions.
In order to gain more knowledge, he then moved to study the
lake in detail. He found a lot of background information about the lake,
including a piece of information that he could connect to the hole.
Finding Answers in the Past
Evan read about a woman, Emily Schwalek, who went to take a swim in the lake and never came back. This happened in 1997, and nobody could explain her disappearance. Most people believed she was sucked into a hole. This discovery was spine chilling, but it motivated Evan to continue his search and find more about the hole.
He knew the hole had existed for a long time, but he still
wasn’t sure why it was there. He was eager to get answers.
Time for Another Flight
With more information than ever, Evan decided to fly his
drone across the lake one more time. His aim was to get as close to the hole as
possible but without causing any damage to his drone.
He knew it was going to be a difficult mission due to the
hole’s gravitational pull, but he had to get it done.
Finally Some More Data
Evan’s drone trip was a success, and he was able to get some
good pictures. He estimated the hole to be about 72 feet in diameter.
The figure left Evan astonished, but he still wondered about
its depth and origin.
He decided to continue his search and find more information
about the hole. Like his previous mission, his next one also proved to be quite
The Word Was Out
While the most curious of souls, Evan was not the only one
who was interested in the hole.
The word had gotten out, and the hole was getting a lot of
attention from locals and tourists who visited the site to witness it in
Another drone enthusiast, Kevin King, was also interested in
the discovery. He was in the same business as Evan and had a deep interest in
Making the Matter Official
The news spread like wildfire, and soon, authorities jumped
the bandwagon. There were dozens of drones flying above the hole, belonging to
visitors and officials.
Evan was excited about the latest developments. He thought
he’d finally be able to know what was causing this mysterious hole.
It All Began to Make Sense
California is a dry state with a few natural water
resources. The government has built several artificial lakes in and around the
state to provide residents with water. Lake Berryessa is one such lake.
The vortex was the result of great engineering. The
engineers who had designed the lake in conjunction with Monticello Dam designed
the hole – and it served a major purpose.
It Leads Somewhere
Flooding can cause a lot of damage. The engineers had to
reduce the risk, and the best way to do so was to build a hole in the middle of
Scientifically known as a spillway, the hole is set into the
dam’s walls. However, due to the position of the lake, it was not feasible to
build a typical dam wall. Therefore, the engineers had to come up with a unique
Some say it looks like a toilet being flushed,
in more generous saying, it is a beautiful inverted fountain.
The water level in this Lake Berryessa reservoir has
risen so high above 200ft, and to the point, it is pouring into the circular
pipe. The pipe, which is known as Morning Glory Spillway, absorbs the water
like a drain as soon as the reservoir is filled up. After that, the water goes
off into the creek below the Monticello Dam.
Reduce the risks of floods
many people have been evacuated from their place of abode due to the risks it
possesses living around that place.
Glory Hole was not made to be spilling water on a daily basis. Although it has
happened twice in 2006 and 1996, It is said that the US Bureau built the hole
to absorb water in case of storm events that might occur.
Bridging the Gap
Engineers had to make sure there was always enough water in
the lake but never too much of it. They had to keep the water flowing, out of
the lake, and into Putah Creek. This was important for the functioning of the
The system had to be foolproof. Hence the engineers created
a funnel that connected between Putah Creek and Lake Berryessa.
The hole had always been there, but it was rarely sighted
before because it was big by then.
The Climate Is to Be Blamed
Lake Berryessa’s water normally stayed low and never flooded
into the spillway. Hence, the mouth of the funnel almost always stayed visible.
In fact, many skateboarders used the entrance for practice.
Things changed when California received a huge amount of
rain, and the water level was suddenly above the entrance level, making the
entrance disappear out of sight and appearing like a huge hole sucking in
water. This happens when the water level goes above 440 feet.
the overpowering force of nature, the world’s dams are always at the mercy of
unpredictable weather. Man-made structures constantly face danger if the rain
levels are too high, possibly causing life-threatening damage to surrounding
desperate situations, large residential areas have had to be evacuated in the
case of a possibly deadly tidal wave. In fact, over 200,000 residents were
forced to abandon their homes and belongings and flee for their lives when it
was uncovered that a 30-foot-deep hole had appeared in the Oroville spillway.
But why the
When people see the hole, the first question that comes to
mind is why the hole is needed. The simple answer you can get is space. The Dam
is situated right at the Devil’s Gate in a narrow canyon, while the site was
good for a Dam. It didn’t have a place to build a channel for the overflow
berm. So what the engineers did was that they dug down and created a tunnel
that will reach another tunnel.
While the lake is a popular boating area, it is
not possible that anyone will fall into it or accidentally be involved in an
accident around the Glory Hole. The bell mouth spillway can swallow lake water
at a faster rate, but it does not have much suction to pull a boat to it. It is also illegal for retreaters to approach
Glory Hole since laws prohibit boaters from traveling near dams.
At the first look at it, it makes you think it is a
portal to another world. Crowds come out to the dam daily to watch and be
mesmerized about the whole sight of water going down a deep hole. The southern
end of the Lake Berryessa, draws thousands of people all the time, just to come
and look at it.
The spill is not an every-year occurrence. The Glory Hole has
been used about two dozen times since it was first built in the 1950s. The most
recent spill started in February 2019 and could last until mid-spring.
Internet frenzy and Instagram sensation
The phenomenon at Lake Berryessa spurred a viral stir all over the internet. Thousands saw the surreal images and were eager to see the spectacle themselves. The visitors continued to flock from far and wide to snap pictures and experience the sight in person. Instagram users from across the world documented the unusual sight of the image-sharing platform, sharing them with millions of other internet users. Over time, its popularity did not seem to fade.
A brave duck has become an unwitting social
media star after taking on a famous drain in this Lake Berryessa reservoir. One
onlooker was filming the spillway when a duck got pulled into the watery vortex
recently. The video has racked up more than 138,000 views after being posted to
Facebook last week. According to the post, the duck is thought to have survived
the close call.
The video was reportedly captured by Rick Fowler, a
water resources technician with the Solano County Water Agency.
However, a local irrigation expert expressed serious
doubt about whether the duck would have survived, saying the water velocity
“would have torn it in pieces.”
Usually, the drain sits well above the surface of the
water and is sometimes used by skateboarders. But when it is used for its
intended purpose, the drain creates a spectacular scene.
Since California is a dry state, such situations rarely occur, but if the hole wasn’t there to safeguard the locals, things would’ve gone messy.
So, the hole, after all, turned out to be a man-made gem. It
may not be a magical hole, but it’s still quite mystical and makes for a nice
the world of spillways, bellmouths like this one are uncommon. Engineers pick
them because they can spill a lot of water at one time and still maintain
control, said Sarah McBride, a public affairs specialist at the United States
Bureau of Reclamation, which owns Lake Berryessa’s morning glory. There are
other spillways of this type around the world, including at the Shing Mun Reservoir in Hong Kong, Hungry Horse Dam in Montana, Nekogahora
Pond in Japan, and the Ladybower
Reservoir in England.
Make sure to see this beauty if you’re ever in town. Experts
say the hole is not a threat due to its weak pull, but you should never swim
too close to it.
Even’s photos became major news as he was able to record a
rare architectural occurrence – bell mount spillways. It happens when large
amounts of water funnels at a steady flow. They’ll forever be etched in his