For those who love to visit and photograph waterfalls, the ocean, and water holes in general, there’s a phenomenon on Oregon’s coast that’s unlike any other. It’s a cavernous sinkhole that sucks in streams of sea water and then spews it out.
This natural wonder is known as Thor’s Well and is also called the Spouting Horn. It is, in effect, a gigantic salt water fountain activated purely by the power of the Pacific Ocean. And while it is fascinating to see and photograph, it is also very dangerous.
When to Visit Thor’s Well
The best time to visit Thor’s Well is a bit subjective of course. It is actually a hole in the rock that only appears to pull in water from the ocean. It is estimated to be 20 feet deep and produces some magnificent displays of the power of nature as the water drains into and then spouts into the air like the pulse of life.
Experts suggest the best time to view Thor’s Well is when it is most dangerous — at high tide or during a winter storm as the water washes violently over the rocks and drains back through channels into the hole.
Part of Cape Perpetua
Thor’s Well is found in a typical Pacific Northwest headland known as Cape Perpetua. This Cape is situated in a forested area on the central Oregon Coast and is surrounded on three sides by water.
While the views afforded by Thor’s Well are breathtaking, there is an element of risk because visitors run the risk of being swept away into the turbulent waters if they make one misstep.
Even with this very real risk, photographers and nature lovers continue to congregate to witness this spectacular fountain with many of them lining up to try for the perfect shot.
Photo credits: Steve Hackstadt