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The Urban Legend Behind This Mysterious, Yet Beautiful Spot In New Jersey Will Baffle You

When you watch the video below, you won’t believe it was shot in New Jersey… but gorgeous water holes exist in the Garden State, hidden in the Pine Barrens. Called “blue holes,” these highly pigmented bodies of water are likely brightly colored due to a high sulfate content or an abundance of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). While they may be entrancing, they can also be deadly.

The visual difference is striking and instantly apparent, but there are other factors that set apart the blue holes of New Jersey from our lakes, ponds and reservoirs. Surrounded by legend and lore, many say they are stomping grounds for the satanic and frequently visited by the Jersey Devil. Others say they have no bottom and may even be pits straight to hell. The strangely clear water seems to host no life and is eerily icy all year-round, with summer temps well under 60 degrees. Compare that to the Atlantic Ocean’s 77 degrees today in Cape May.

Former mines filled with water, these blue holes host unpredictable currents and dangerous sand similar to quicksand. They also often have steep drops… from 5 feet deep to 50 feet deep in seconds. Should you be pulled below the surface, it is all too easy to be caught in the industrial wreckage that lies at the bottom and the brisk cold water is also the culprit of many a muscle cramp… which can turn deadly.

Estimates sit at about a drowning incident every year, and many of the victims do not survive. Just last month, a teenage boy died by drowning at a blue hole on Jackson Road in Monroe Township. A terribly tragedy, “no swimming” signs are often posted but frequently ignored. While beautiful to look at, I highly recommend you heed the warnings and head to the nearby beaches for a (much warmer) dip in the water.

Have you ever been to one of New Jersey’s blue holes? Share your stories, and especially photos, with us on the Only In New Jersey Facebook Page. For wonderful places where you actually CAN swim in New Jersey, see: These 13 Epic Waterparks in New Jersey Will Take Your Summer To A Whole New Level.

Kristen Koennemann
Kristen is a freelance writer, editor and social-media manager who really loves her state. She's here to share all that New Jersey has to offer with residents and the rest of the world.