Thor’s well

While it resembles a bottomless hole draining the sea, and known colloquially as the ‘drainpipe of the sea’, this hole in the rock is only a few metres deep. The illusion results from a dangerous tidal phenomenon, and is best seen around high tide or during a storm, when waves pound in from the Pacific ocean onto this stretch of the Oregon coast. As the waves hit the rock, they spray upwards in a huge surge known as the Spouting Horn, before crashing into the hole and draining out. Be careful while visiting, as the waves can wash you into the maelstrom, with little chance of survival. 

The Well is on Cape Perpetua, discovered by Captain James Cook in 1778 while seeking a route from the Pacific to the Atlantic, (the fabled Northwest Passage, that climate change may finally open up for us by melting the sea ice of the northern ocean. The area was long used by Native Americans, whose middens of empty mussel shells testify to their feasts of yesteryear.


Image credit: Bill Young

A picture of a baby born "en-caul", which means that the membrane protecting the baby’s body and head has not yet torn. Normally, this membrane breaks as the birth process commences, and that is commonly referred to as “breaking of water”. En-caul births are very rare, occuring in fewer than 1 on 80,000 births. It is, however, almost always perfectly harmless.