Saturday, January 05, 2013

Montezuma Well

After visiting Montezuma Castle, we drove an additional 11 miles to reach Montezuma Well. Formed from an ancient collapse of an immense underground cavern, many of the limestone sink's unique features lie below the surface. Over a million gallons of water flow into this pond-like structure on a daily basis through two underground springs. The water remains warm all year around at around 76°F. It contains very high levels of arsenic and carbon dioxide (nearly 600x the normal levels) and is home to five endemic species of small creatures found nowhere else, including a type of water scorpion and leech. 

The well was used for irrigation by the southern Sinagua tribe. Traces of the irrigation ditches are still present. Some pueblo dwellings can also also be found around the pond. Between 1125 and 1400, it is said that between 150-200 southern Sinagua lived in this area.

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