Warm Mineral Springs – North Port, Florida - Atlas Obscura
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North Port, Florida

Warm Mineral Springs

This ancient sinkhole-turned-healing-pool is a treasure trove of archeological discoveries and may even be the Fountain of Youth. 

Warm Mineral Springs is a small body of water in Florida that holds great archeological discoveries- and could be the Fountain of Youth. Where else can you relax in warm mineral waters and bathe where archeologists have found the bones of a 11,000 year old man, a giant sloth, and a saber-toothed cat? 

Warm Mineral Springs itself is a sinkhole formed by the collapse of a subterranean cavern over 30,000 years ago. The primary source of the water is a vent found over 200 feet below the surface which pushes out about 20 million gallons of warm mineralized water a day. The supposed healing powers of the water are said to come from its high chloride content and low oxygen content, although exactly how this works is unknown. Under great pressure, the geothermal water is heated to 97 degrees, but cooled to about 85 degrees from several small caves located only 200 feet below the waters surface.

In the 1950s, Archeologist William Royal found evidence of bones and artifacts of at least seven people in in the waters along with a partially burned log found which was carbon dated to 10,000 years ago. The archeological world originally dismissed his work because previous finds had confirmed man arrived in Florida only 7,000 years ago. Yet after many other projects conducted in and around the Mineral Springs, his findings became widely believed. During a later excavation a body was found that had been entombed behind stalactites, and is believed to be the oldest intentional burial ever discovered in North America. 

In the 1960s, the site became a health spa and many still believe that the waters have amazing healing powers. Some even believe that Ponce De Leon died in Florida while searching for the Fountain of Youth, which could have been the Warm Mineral Springs.  

Today the Springs are still open as a spa facility, despite protections around the site put in place thanks to the archeological importance. 

 

 

 

 

Know Before You Go

I 75 North or South to Exit 191, River Road. Take 41 to Ortiz Blvd. Follow Ortiz to San Servando Ave.