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Volcano visible in the distance, summer in Alaska
The Dangerous Truth Of Jacob's Well
History - Science
Jacob's Well, a submerged sinkhole fed by a natural spring located in Hays County, Texas, draws both those looking for some cool water to splash around in and adrenaline junkies willing to risk it all for the thrill of exploration. Deep inside Jacob’s Well is an underwater cave system, the siren song of which has led at least a dozen divers to their deaths.
On September 9th, 1979, 20-year-old Kent Maupin and 21-year-old Mark Brashier decided to dive into the well late in the night without backup lights or a safety line and never resurfaced. As explained by Don Dibble, a local diver who has assisted in searches for missing explorers in Jacob Well’s cave system, "It was the forbidden fruit, the allure of doing something dangerous."
In a 2001 Visit Wimberley article, author Louie Bond laid out the various difficulties of navigating the cave system, referring to the narrow passageways between the chambers and a "false chimney," which "appears to be a way out of the well but has trapped at least one diver." Another major issue is the lack of visibility fueled by tight spaces paired with gravel and silt flooring.
After a grate installed over the entrance to the cave system was removed by divers, a more serious grate was installed to keep people away — but it couldn’t prevent 21-year-old Diego Adame from a near catastrophe in 2015. Adame free dove without supplemental oxygen and had descended to around 100 feet when he lost one of his flippers, which reduced his mobility.
Thankfully for Adame, his dive training kicked in, and he managed to remain calm as he focused on going back to the surface without his lost equipment. Later on, Adame, who surfaced just as his body began to run out of oxygen and successfully avoided becoming another casualty of Jacob's Well, revealed, "I thought of death and myself dying that day."