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Three Sisters Springs
A gorgeous natural landmark of Florida is Three Sisters Springs – a pool that is formed by three powerful springs. Hundreds of manatees often come to the lucid, blue-green water of this spring pool.
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A small, forested patch of Floridian forest in the city of Crystal River. In this forest is located a gorgeous, incredibly lucid pool with blue-green water. This approximately 110 m long natural pool has been formed by three powerful springs that emanate from its bottom. These springs from the west to east are named Little Sister, Big Sister, and Pretty Sister. In total in these three springs are 19 vents. The depth of this basin reaches 4.6 m.
From this basin towards the nearby Crystal River flows a short, powerful stream – Three Sisters Spring Run.
At the mouth of this short river are two more underwater springs: Idiot’s Delight 1 and Idiot’s Delight 2. These springs flow from shafts that are at least 6 m deep.
Manatees of Three Sisters Springs
During the winter many Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are hiding from the colder water of the winter sea in the springs that have a bit higher water temperature. Three Sisters Springs have a temperature of 23° C. This is some 2-3 degrees warmer than in the Mexican Bay during the winter. These springs together with other subaquatic springs of Crystal River (e.g. King’s Spring) are the best most comfortable winter refuge for those amazing animals.
Most of these animals stay at the mouth of the spring run, at Idiot’s Delight springs. The colder the weather, the higher there is a chance to see these amazing animals. A record number of 528 manatees stayed in the springs in the late December of 2014. Seems, that animals learn about the existence of these springs: over the last 60 years, the number of manatees has gradually increased.
The springs in Citrus County are the only ones in the USA where swimmers can swim next to the manatees. This is controversial practice: many swimmers love to come to the springs during the winter when steam rises from the Three Sisters Springs. Visitors snorkel and swim between the manatees, disturbing them. Currently, this is regulated through changes in legislation.
Three Sisters Springs was a popular recreational place for locals already in the 1950ies. In the late 1950ies started the development of housing areas around the Crystal River. Works were extensive and the natural landscape was changed considerably. North from the springs was created an artificial lake – Lake Crystal. This dig provided the material to fill in the wetland areas for housing.
In 2010, a union of public and non-governmental organizations purchased the land around the springs. Through hard and extensive work the former beauty of this area was returned.
Now Three Sisters Springs is a small managed territory in a larger nature-protected area: Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.
The area is adjusted for tourist access. Visitors can look at the springs from a boardwalk or go in it with a boat.
- Sally White, Metamorphosis at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, NatureCoaster.com, January 14, 2021. Accessed in August 6, 2022.
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.
Wonders of the United States
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.
Wonders of Florida
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.
Weeki Wachee, City of Mermaids: A History of One of Florida’s Oldest Roadside Attractions
In the postwar explosion of domestic tourism, Weeki Wachee spring offered the quintessential vacation fantasy, a city of colorful mermaids in a natural crystal spring right off the West Coast highway in a sparsely inhabited Florida. In those early days, the mermaids had to stand alongside the highway to flag travelers down, but once word of their charms got out, travelers headed south to playgrounds in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Tampa found Weeki Wachee a tantalizing detour from the grueling two-lane road connecting vacationland with the work-a-day world to the north. Vickers shows how that local novelty became a stellar international attraction.
Backroads of Paradise: A Journey to Rediscover Old Florida
In the 1930s, the Federal Writers’ Project sent mostly anonymous writers, but also Zora Neale Hurston and Stetson Kennedy, into the depths of Florida to reveal its splendor to the world. The FWP and the State of Florida jointly published the results as Florida: A Guide to the Southernmost State, which included twenty-two driving tours of the state’s main roads. Eventually, after Eisenhower built the interstates, drivers bypassed the small towns that thrived along these roads in favor of making better time. Those main roads are now the state’s backroads—forgotten by all but local residents, a few commuters, and dedicated road-trippers. Retracing the original routes in the Guide, Cathy Salustri rekindles our notions of paradise by bringing a modern eye to the historic travelogues.