The Legend Of The Devil's Millhopper
One upon a time, there was a beautiful Indian Princess who lived in a village near the location of the present Day Devil's Millhopper. The Devil wanted to marry the Indian Princess, but she wanted nothing to do with him. So one day he decided to kidnap her. He grabbed the Indian Princess and ran. On hearing this, all the Indian braves were deeply saddened and began to chase the Devil and the Indian Princess. As the braves began to get closer and closer the Devil created a huge sink hole for the Indians to fall into. The Sink is the Devil's Millhopper you see today. When the braves tried to clime out of the sinkhole to save the princess, the Devil turned them to stone, To this day, it's said, that the weeping of water from the stones along its slopes of the Devil's Millhopper are the tears of the Indian braves shed for the beautiful princess.
Now that you heard the legend let me give you some facts this is the State parks system's only archaeological site. It gets the Millhopper name from its funnel-like shape. During the 1800's farmers used to grind grain in the grist mills. On top of the mill was a funnel shaped container or hopper, that held the grain as it was fed into the grinder. Because fossilized bones and teeth from ancient life forms were found at the bottom of this sink hole this was said to be the Millhopper that fed bodies to the devil, hence, the Devil's Millhopper.
The sink hole is about 120 feet deep and 500 feet wide making it the largest in the state of Florida. If a sink hole were to occur in a place like Orlando alot of people could die this is wide enough to fit a very big building into. It takes 236 stairs to reach the bottom. The stairs were completed in 1976 but before this time very few went to the bottom of Devil's millhopper cause it would ruin the ecology to the plants growing along the walls.
Within the sink hole is 12 Springs. You can hear the sound of water flowing down the slopes almost like a natural waterfall or mild rain. It seeps down past ferns and dense vegetation then drains through the soil into a later of limestone.
Clay beneath the stone prevents further downward movement of the water but then forces it to flow along the limestone layer. It then spills out to form the springs that surround the sink. Some of the springs cascade to the bottom where they flow along and into a natural drain so that the water eventually finds its way to the Gulf Of Mexico.
They said this flow is almost like a reminder of Purgatory where the souls flow endlessly well the water is similar you can literally see it flow right into walls of the sinkhole at the bottom and sit their wondering where did it go. Its a constant flow that occurs.
Each layer of sediment provides a record of events and animals that occurred during a particular time period. The shells of marine animals in the lower layer represent a time when this area was covered by the sea. The bones and teeth of land animals found in the upper more recent layers tell of a period after the sea level dropped.
Many small animals, lizards, frogs, snakes, birds and the Gopher Tortoise are said to lurk in the woods and sinkhole itself. Their is a cave that is at the bottom of the sink hole it does not go in to deep it is a cavern and at one time before it all collapsed this was part of an underwater cavern connected with other in tact tunnels.
The sink hole formed 10,000 to 14,000 years ago long before even Jesus Christ walked this earth. The creek that flows into the sink hole is called Deer run where eventually it seeps into the water table much like the devil consumes his souls. Back many years ago the water did back up in the sink hole due to a heavy rain storm of a depth of 35 feet deep.
How A Sink Hole Is Formed
Most of Florida underground contains limestone its the foundation where this state sits upon. The stone is very hard however with weak acid it can be eventually dissolved. Rain water becomes a weak carbonic acid from contact with the carbon dioxide in the air. As the water soaks into the ground, it passes through dead plant material which causes the acid to become stronger. When this water reaches the limestone layer, small cavities are formed as the rock is slowly dissolved. Eventually the ceiling of the cavern becomes so thin that it cannot support the weight of the earth above it thus forming a sink hole. Many people swim at various springs deep in such limestone cavities some dive deep underground eventually getting lost and drowning where their bodies are not found for months. This investigation is very important to the group in the fact that sinkholes are very native to the state of Florida.
In my opinion I have heard for a few years about this place and its dark history. I have read somewhere rituals have taken place in the cave. I have also read somewhere that human remains have been found in the sink hole more then likely dating back to when the Indians lived in this area. So maybe the bones or bodies were throwing in the sink hole perhaps to appease the devil sort of like a sacrifice.
Despite this place is not very large with only about a mile worth of trails surrounding it its a very eerie place to be down inside at night. Once your down their the only way up is the stairs since the sides are to steep to climb and muddy. Despite the fact small animals roam this area I do feel something more sinister lies below!
Trail & Decent Into Darkness
Bottom Of The Millhopper
End Results Of Venturing Into The Millhopper