SILVER SPRINGS

Silver springs, millenia ago was once but a trickle, then a giant sinkhole formed about 500 feet round. This opened up a giant fisher about one hundred twenty-five feet wide and forty feet high. Out poured the water from the aquifer below. Today what we know as the Silver river was formed. Where the spring starts it is about fifty feet deep. Over the last fifty years they have found over one hundred forty-one fishers where the water under pressure comes out, all this right about where the springs start. The river is a total of about five and one half miles long where it flows into the Oklowaha river. Over five hundred million gallons of fresh spring water comes out of the ground each day, and it travels about five miles per hour downstream. It is a pretty neat place. We took a glass bottom boat tour around and they show you all the bigger fishers. The water is super clear. It is 100% pure spring water when it comes out and then drops to  about 98% percent pure due to the nitrates man has put in the ground.

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This picture shows where the springs start under the ground. Divers have traveled into the spring underwater a total of 2000 feet, after that it gets very narrow and branchs off. Also since the advent of modern scuba gear they have found wolly mammoth bones and other bones of ancient animals. Plus relics from the first man to come here about 12000 years ago.

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The water from the spring then flows off to the right. You can actually see it bubbleing out of the ground.

In recent history the springs are the place in 1835 where the Seminole tribe leaders came to meet, and said they have had enough of the U. S. Government pushing them around. Thus started the Seminole wars, which lasted into the 1840’s. During the Civil War, there was a confederate depot here where supplies came up the Silver river. Once off loaded they traveled up north to help the  confederate war effert. In the early 1880’s is when it started to become a destination. Many northern soldiers came down this way in there older years, to be by the healing spring waters as it was said. Also a guy with a small boat cut a hole in it placed glass under it and charged five cents to see the springs. Hence the glass bottom boat attraction was born. They still operate to this day.In the 1920’s with the advent of the automobile, it became easy to travel and here it became,  in just a few short years, a meca for vacationers coming down south. It thrived as a tourist area, hotels, motels resturants, game shows carousalls and all that stuff, became the norm here. Even during WWII it was populal. They even had a zoo, here with exotic animals. Small monkeys was one of them, they were put on a small island here, and it was hoped, the visitors woiuld go to the island and visit. No one knew at the time that they could swim and as soon as they were released they swam away. Today there are about 150 monkeys kiving in the park. It was a very popular spot until the early 1960’s when two things happened, the interstate highway system, and Disney Land over in Orlando. It hung on even until the late 1980’s but then the state bought it and gave a lease to the theme park owners .That failed and the state took over in 2013. It is now part of the state park and only the glass bottom boat ride is left, which is very popular.IMG_0494

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This water is fifty feet deep,look how clear it is.

The springs are also famous for some of the movies shot here. One was “Creature from the Black Logoon”. A lot of the underwater scenes were shot here. Five of the Tarzan the Ape man movies, were also shot in the water and nearby jungle. The treehouses he lived in were here and when you see him dive in the water it is here at the springs.Also scenes from three James Bond Films. The most famous was the TV show “Sea Hunt” with Lloyd Bridges. Of the 155 episodes over 100 were filmed here.

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They have a nice museum here with a lot of original artifacts from the springs.

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One of the glass bottom boats, and me inside of a twisted tree.

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Part of the long boardwalk they have here at the park.IMG_0475

On the boardwalk, we saw our first Manatee, a kayaker was following it. That was neat

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Melissa spreading her wings, she didn’t get off the ground, if she did we would be in trouble! She is an angel though.

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Me relaxing with my Bayou Billy’s birch beer. Boy was it good, but a lot of sugar.IMG_0496

Behind out campsite. This was aneat park to visit for two weeks, we leave here in a few days .

 

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