Gallery: Spring thaw brings traditional 'witches' well' torrent

The arrival of the spring thaw has brought with it the traditional surge of groundwater to be seen in many of Estonia's so-called witches' wells, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Tuesday night, visiting one such feature in the village of Ratva, Ida-Viru County.

The wells are constructed as a way of alleviating groundwater flooding, which could cause problems for farmers and others. Abandoned mines to be found in Ida-Viru County in particular require this type of engineering. While the most famous "witches' well" is to be found at Tuhala, about 30 km south of Tallinn, the two Ratva wells are more recent constructions, seeing only their third spring thaw, AK reported.

One enthusiast, Allan Oja, told AK that: "There are many exciting places in Ida-Viru County; I discovered this place last spring. I happened to see people posting pictures of it on social media, I located it on the map and paid a visit – it was fantastic. That time there was a little more water than this."

"When the mine closed down, water flooded the surrounding fields, so a decision was taken to drill to 50-meter holes and install pipes with a half-meter diameter. The water in the mine shafts then surges up the shafts to the surface," Oja explained.

The phenomenon is a popular attraction every year, particularly so this year given lock-down conditions, AK reported.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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