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On 20 November 1980, when the disaster took place, the Diamond Crystal Salt Company operated the Jefferson Island salt mine under the lake, while a Texaco oil rig drilled down from the surface of the lake searching for petroleum. Due to a miscalculation, the 14-inch (36 cm) drill bit entered the mine, starting a chain of events which at the time turned an almost 10-foot (3.0 m) deep freshwater lake into a salt water lake with a deep hole.
This created an opening in the bottom of the lake. The lake then drained into the hole, expanding the size of that hole as the soil and salt were washed into the mine by the rushing water, filling the enormous caverns left by the removal of salt over the years. The resultant whirlpool sucked in the drilling platform, eleven barges, many trees and 65 acres of the surrounding terrain. So much water drained into those caverns that the flow of the Delcambre Canal that usually empties the lake into Vermilion Bay was reversed, making the canal a temporary inlet. This backflow created, the tallest waterfall ever in the state of Louisiana, at 164 feet (50 m), as the lake refilled with salt water from the Delcambre Canal and Vermilion Bay. The water downflowing into the mine caverns displaced air which erupted as compressed air and then later as 400-foot (120 m) geysers up through the mineshafts
Originally posted by csimon
reply to post by gpena
Looks bigger and like the end of the video with the chimney above water. It's very very deep at the center and sometimes you see bubbles surfacing there ...my 150' fishing line never reaches bottom.
Some segments of land that were at the shore are now islands that became detacted due to gravity and suction.
It's always been a very interesting place to visit ...especially the Joseph "Rip Van Winkle" Jefferson mansion. There's a wonderful restaurant there and they cater weddings that are held at a variety of places on the property. Beautiful southern Louisiana atmosphere and setting. Here is a link to Jefferson Island:
www.ripvanwinklegardens.com...edit on 14-12-2010 by csimon because: (no reason given)
Agent Smith from The Matrix was right... Humans are a virus, a disease to this world. If we as a collective, global species can not figure out how to live in balance with this beautiful planet soon, I'd support eugenics, sterilization, and massive population reduction.