A Guy Flew His Drone Over A Strange Lake Hole- And It Left Him Floored

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Astonishing Sight


David Burgman captured these awe-inspiring images while flying his drone over the majestic Lake Berryessa, Napa County’s largest lake.  While David was unexpectedly flying over the body of water, he soon spotted an enormous and mysterious lake hole sucking water in at a tremendous speed.
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Swirling Vortex


The water was rushing down what appeared to be some kind of black hole. The lake’s water was being pulled deep into the hole, swirling into it at full speed being strangely pulled in by some unknown force, but how had this bizarre occurrence come to be?
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Come Closer


David decided to investigate further. He lowered his drone closer and closer to the mouth of the monstrous hole. Suddenly, the force became too strong and the drone was being pulled into the hole. “When I lowered the drone into the ‘Glory Hole,’ it became unstable and almost crashed into the side,” he explained. In a panic, David began to struggle with the drone’s controls.

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What Happened Next?


Lake Berryessa has approximately 521 billion gallons of water. At its fullest capacity, the surface of the reservoir will then rise to over 400 feet above sea level. Yet if it reaches its limit, the excess water needs somewhere to go, but where? Did David’s drone get swallowed up by the vortex?
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Flow River Flow


California is well known for its dry climate and frequent droughts. Theoretically, the climate is not conducive excessive water levels required to overflow a lake of this size. In October 2016 the lake was not even half-full. What had caused this natural anomaly?
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Whether The Weather


In January and February 2017, California was struck by unusually heavy rainfall. The unexpected weather conditions caused significant damage throughout the region. It filled Napa County’s waters to bursting point and surprisingly set the Lake Berryessa “Glory Hole” into its swirling vortex. David’s drone survived the powerful pull of the swirling mass, but others weren’t so fortunate…
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Glory Hole


The spectacular Glory Hole, sits just a few feet from the concrete lip of the boundary of the Monticello Dam. Its vortex-like shape, strange atmosphere, and surreal appearance  is what drew thousands o spectators to witness the natural phenomenon.
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Huge Plug Hole


When water levels rise to the 440-foot mark, the catalyst effect kicks into action, and the glory hole starts sucking away the surplus water, acting like a giant plug hole.
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Spiralling Out Of Control


At more than a staggering two million gallons per minute, the huge amount of flowing water spiraling down the funnel is absolutely astonishing. The water sucked into the whole is almost equivalent to four Olympic-sized swimming pools.
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Sink Hole Surprise


The bizarre and breathtaking sight attracted hundreds of astounded visitors, desperate to see the Glory Hole in person. Little did they know that their safety was a concern…
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Internet Frenzy


The phenomenon at Lake Berryessa caused a viral stir all over the internet. Thousands saw the pictures and were eager to see the the hole themselves. The visitors continued to flock from far and wide…
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Instagram sensation


Instagram users from all over the world snapped pics of the unusual sight, sharing them with millions of other users. Its popularity did not seem to fade.
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Pornographic Connotations


The lake’s nickname has even prompted some warnings on Twitter and other social media platforms, with users advised not to hashtag images and videos of the phenomenon with ‘Glory Hole’ because of the title’s pornographic connotations that might go against Twitter’s terms and conditions.
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Give A Dam


Lake Berryessa is the seventh largest man-made lake in the state. The massive lake was first filled in the 1950s after the Monticello Dam was completed. At over 300 feet tall, the Monticello Dam supplies water and electricity to nearly 600,000 people all over the surrounding areas of the Sacramento Valley and San Francisco’s North Bay.
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A Sad Tale


In 1997, a local woman named Emily Schwalek suffered a terrible tragedy. After losing her balance, Schwalek spent a terrifying 20 minutes desperately clinging onto the concrete rim of the spillway. Unfortunately, Emily did not survive the incident. After becoming exhausted, she lost her grip and fell to her death.
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A Thing Of Beauty


These spillways have been considered a simple engineering necessity for decades, but thanks to the newest technological gadgets and the help of David’s drone, the surprising beauty of these phenomenas can be captured.
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Nature’s Finest


Revealing the true power and sheer force of nature, the world’s dams are always at the mercy of the weather. Man-made structures constantly face danger if the rain levels are too high.
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Oroville Spillway


In desperate situations, large residential areas have to be evacuated in the case of a sudden tidal wave. In fact, some 200,000 people were forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives when it was uncovered that a 30-foot-deep hole had suddenly appeared in the Oroville spillway.
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Scary Situation


A National news sensation was sparked as helpless residents were told to evacuate the Oroville area, just north of Sacramento. Dam workers had discovered a severe amount of damage in two of the Oroville Dam’s spillways. The Oroville Dam is the tallest dam in the country and is a crucial part of California’s water system. This was an issue that could have grave consequences.
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Water Rising Fast


There was a hole found in the main spillway, meaning that water began to rise at an extremely dangerous rate. This was the first time that this has happened, and an emergency plan of action needed to be put in place suddenly.
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Urgent Emergency


For the first time in the dam’s history, the emergency spillway was used. However, they weren’t out of the danger sone just yet. Soon, erosion damage was found in the emergency spillway. An evacuation was desperately required. People were in danger and after the evacuation call was made, the scene quickly became manic.
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A Sight Worth Seeing


“I went up there the other day and there were about 15 drones flying around and people taking videos,” said Kevin King, an operations manager at the Solano Irrigation District, who monitors daily activities at the dam. “It’s really dramatic to watch,” he remarked in awe.
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Shocking Spillway


Spillways come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. The one at Berryessa is called the “bellmouth”. The structure works a lot like the plughole of a bath or sink, which prevents water from overspilling the containers boundaries.
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History In The Making


This spectacular image was uploaded to Instagram of the Lake Oroville Dam Spillway. In a once-in-a-blue-moon scenario, the image shows the Lake Oroville Dam spilling down a hillside and into the Feather River.
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Disappointed Visitor


Another light-hearted Instagram user wrote ‘my family likes to visit Oroville when the towns getting evacuated just so we can drink beer by the Dam and pray it doesn’t break’.
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Life Is Like A River


This photo is of the water finally being released from the emergency spillway. The image shows the magnitude of the situation. The power of the oncoming water could well cause fatal disasters if evacuations are not carried out.
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Don’t Give Up The Day Job


Dam workers had a dangerous and thrilling job of having to inspect the damage and growing hole inside the Oroville Dam. This image was shown by one of the many international news outlets.
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Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls


This powerful image pictures water cascading down the crumbling spillway of the Oroville Dam.
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Interesting Footage


This surveillance footage shows the tremendous difference a few mere years can make, after a huge drought in Oroville in 2014. Man is truly at the mercy of the weather.
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Burglary Rates Rise With The Water


In horrible addition to the events of an evacuation, many criminals take advantage of the panicked situation and rob the houses of the fleeing residents. Officials stated that just hours after authorities ordered more than 100,000 people to flee, multiple local burglaries took place.
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Operation Repair


Helicopters can be seen here working tirelessly to ferry sand, and rocks to the Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway repair project site. Dedicated municipal workers continued to make necessary repairs to the damaged spillway.
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