“get your spa on!”
Ever since the 1500's, people have been combing Florida for the fountain of youth... and even though we're not entirely sure it exists, explorers have found some other pretty cool stuff along the way, like North Port's Warm Mineral Springs. The 1.4 acre pool is about 250 feet deep and boasts spring-fed waters that are always at a lovely 87 degrees... and it's apparently chock full of ancient archaeological finds! The pool was originally a sinkhole that formed roughly 20,000 years ago and so before it filled up with water, it was just a big ol' cave. Native Americans in the area used the sinkhole when it was empty, and left behind all kinds of tools and artifacts... and that's not all that's been discovered inside: in the 1950's, researchers found the bones from at least 7 individuals from about 10,000 years ago in the pool. If the radiocarbon dating is accurate, it is the earliest known evidence of humans in Florida. Eventually, the cave filled up with spring water and rain, forming a naturally-warm pond perfect for swimming. The mineral-rich spring water and heated waters have given the pool a reputation for having healing powers, and some believe that it's the Fountain of Youth for which our pal Ponce de Leon was looking. These days, it's a popular spot for people to come and get their spa on. You can still explore the pool by diving, but most of the ancient artifacts were removed by tourists in the 1960's. But even if you don't make a big archaeological discovery, you'll still enjoy bathing in the soothing Warm Mineral Springs! -Roadtrippers The Warm Mineral Springs is a water-filled sinkhole located in North Port, Florida, a mile north of U.S. 41. The primary water supply is a spring vent deep beneath the pool's water surface. Warm Mineral Springs is the only warm water mineral spring in the State of Florida. It is an important geological and archaeological site containing Native American remnants. It functioned as a small natural spa since the 1960s. People travel from all over the world to soak in the mineral-rich waters. The waters are believed to have extraordinary healing powers and some believe it was the fountain of youth sought by Ponce de Leon. It was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on November 28, 1977. The springs re-opened for swimming only on April 12, 2014. Warm Mineral Springs is a sinkhole formed in carbonate rock by the collapse of the roof of a cavern 30,000 years ago. The land surrounding the sinkhole is flat, and about 3m above mean sea level. The circular opening of the sinkhole at the current water level is 72m across. The sinkhole is 70m deep, and is shaped roughly like an hourglass. The opening narrows to 48m across a few meters below the surface of the water. About 13m below the surface the opening widens for a short space, forming a ledge under an overhang. The opening narrows to 38m across at 30m below the surface, and then opens up again, reaching 72m across at the bottom of the sinkhole. Debris from the collapsed roof and sides of the sink, and other material that has fallen into the sink, forms a large cone at the bottom, rising to 38m below the surface of the water.
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Warm Mineral Springs
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