the existence of a strange well that turns objects into stone, has been the subject of various commentaries for many centuries. For some, it is “a place bewitched by a powerful prophetess”, who by means of a mysterious charm bewitched the waters that fill the petrifying well.
Over the years, the legend of its petrifying waters grew, until finally science was in charge of solving the mystery. However, it is worth knowing more details about this interesting story and its protagonist, whose origin dates back to the end of the fourteenth century and remained in force until a few years ago.
Mother Shipton and the Well that Turns Objects to Stone
A woman is credited with developing the myth of the strange well that turns objects into stone. It is assumed that his birth name was Ursula Southhell and was born in 1488in a cave near the forests of Knaresboroughin England.
We still do not know exactly why several dark and tragic events that happened in this area near the well, began to interact with young Ursula. But, what is certain is that over time they started calling her Mother Shipton.
Painting by Ursula Southhell. public domain
People who lived nearby they considered her a prophetessso that when he said a prediction, they believed him and passed on his words.
Others were convinced that Mother Shipton was a powerful witch and the fate of the well near the cave where she was born was attributed to her, as different objects that came into contact with the water turned to stone.
A teapot, a lobster and a doll taken from the “petrifying” well. Credit: CC BY-ND 2.0 Flickr
This strange petrifying well is the greatest legacy left by the mother shiptonSince it is difficult to establish the truth of all his prophecies, one of them claimed that the end of the world would come in 1881. It is also possible that some stories were a little “embellished” by people at the over time. But, the secret of the mythical well has finally been clarified by science.
Modern science solves a mysterious fact!
Since around 1534, the mysticism of the well that turns objects into stone has been documented. After various analyzes and studies carried out by modern science, experts say it is a fascinating wonder of nature. No spells or magical powers!
According to the researchers, true petrification also does not occur, it is rather a kind of process that ends up transforming objects into stalactites. The reason for this phenomenon is due to the high mineral content that makes up the waters of Mother Shipton’s well.
A careful study of the soil carried out by those responsible for the investigation revealed that the origin of thethe well waters come from an approximate depth of 1.6 kilometers below to land. The aquifer source is characterized by the formation of a rocky body where many minerals are dissolved.
For this reason well water contains a large amount of zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium carbonate, aluminum and is rich in sulphate. That’s how he put it john winneone of the visitors to the current Mother Shipton Tourist Park, one of the most visited in the region.
The report also reveals that two cups of water from this well weigh 0.0023 ounces (or the equivalent of 0.65 grams), more than two cups of normal water from anywhere else. It means that the amount of dissolved solids in the water could be around 0.18 ounces (5.1 grams) per gallon.
A region with a very particular geology
The well and some petrified objects.
The type of rock – sedimentary travertine – is part of the hidden secret behind the mystical powers that have been attributed to the strange pit that turns objects into stone. It’s all due to the geology and chemistry of the soil where it is found the Mother Shipton Park area.
Due to its special characteristic, some porous items -like stuffed animals- can take 3 months by becoming a stalactite. While non-porous objects take up to 2 years to be completely covered with water -rich in minerals- to be petrified.
Today, the place is conditioned to receive tourists from different parts of the world. Thanks to modern science, now we know the strange well was not hauntedbut that the petrification of objects is due to the particular conditions of the ground.
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