Devils Ear Spring (Devil’s Ear Spring)
A gorgeous and unusual natural landmark of Florida is Devils Ear Spring. This giant spring beats from the bottom of Santa Fe River, discharging several thousands of liters of (nearly) clean water every second.
Length of cave
Map of the site
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Devils Ear Spring comes from a fracture in limestone and is one of springs in a system of three springs. This spring is located under Santa Fe River near its southern bank. A little inland (also under the water beats the next – Devil’s Eye Spring and further inside the forest – Little Devil Spring. The total length of this fracture with its three springs is 114 m.
Spring vent of Devils Ear Spring is located in the depth of 10.5 m but the power of the stream from it is visible on the surface. The output of the spring seems to be measured rarely – and measuring it can not be simple as the spring is located under the river. In 1998 the output was 3 398 l/s (1.), in 2001 – 5 850 l/s (2.).
Above the lucid springwater is a thinner layer of darker river water. Unfortunately, the spring water has some pollution with nitrates from agricultural runoff. Thus, the water from the spring still is comparatively clean, but not pristine anymore.
Devils Ear and nearby Devils Eye springs serve as the two only entrances into an enormous cave system – Devil’s Eye Cave System that is 7,174 m long and up to 49 m deep (2016, 3.). This is a well known cave diving site. It is not simple to dive into this spring went – the water beats from it with a great force, thus the entrance through Devils Eye is used. Cave goes under Santa Fe River (!) and continues below the other bank, giving a source for another beautiful spring – July Spring.
The spring is in a park next to the more popular Ginnie Springs Outdoor Resort and is one of the attractions of this resort.
- Appendix 2-2: Descriptions of Priority Springs. Suwannee River Water Management District, Water Data Portal. Last accessed on 14th September 2023.
- First Magnitude Springs of Florida Florida Geological Survey Open File Report No. 85, 2002. Last accessed on 17th September 2023.
- World Underwater Caves, Cave-Exploring.Com. Last accessed on 17th September 2023.
Devils Ear Spring is included in the following article:
Powerful natural freshwater springs belong to the most fascinating monuments of nature. Even more exciting is the diversity of unusual springs – mineral springs, hot springs, submarine springs as well as the unusual black smokers. Especially beautiful are such natural rarities as travertine, silica, or salt terraces created by warm and hot springs and, especially, geysers.
The United States of America is one of the largest countries in the world and offers a wide array of diverse attractions: many are unsurpassed in the world. Highlights of the United States are cliffs, canyons, and rock formations, several impressive downtowns of cities with numerous skyscrapers as well as a rich array of geothermal features, and the giant forest of California.
Florida is the tropical paradise of the mainland United States. Over the last century, it has experienced fabulous changes, turning from a forgotten, swampy badland into a densely populated and rich land. Highlights of Florida include the architecture of the late 19th and 20th centuries as well as its giant springs and caves.
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The author started gathering information for this unique guidebook of Florida Springs over 40 years ago. In 1973 Robert F. Burgess began diving and photographing the underwater caves associated with Florida’s labyrinthine freshwater springs long before scuba divers had such things as depth gauges, personal flotation devices, or cave divers training programs. He attributes his survival in what has been called “the world’s most dangerous sport” to the fact that he always stayed within sight of the way out of these underwater sites.