Hell, Grand Cayman. Geological Feature

Hell, Grand Cayman

Geological Feature

Hell, Grand Cayman Photo © Karsun Designs Photography

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Hell, Grand Cayman

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Hell is real and it's located in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (Wikipedia Article). The actual place called Hell is an area that spans the size of about 50 yards or approximately half of a soccer field. It is made up of jagged, black limestone that took over 24 million years to create from salt and lime deposits. What makes this area unique is that it stands out among its lush surroundings, which consists of bright, rich, green flora in an area that is rich with plant life and scenic beauty. It is also a perfect opportunity to reply to “Go to Hell” with “I've been there and I have photos to prove it.”

How Hell Got Its Name

No one knows exactly how Hell got its name. Some believe it is due to how Hell might really look – dark and desolate, while others claim that a hunter missed a shot in the area and yelled out the expletive, “Oh Hell!”. Regardless of how it got the iconic name, it is a unique place that attracts tourists from all over the world. In fact, there is a store and post office beside the property where tourists can mail a postcard from Hell to their friends and family. Sometimes you may even see the “Devil” dressed up and parading around the location. There are guided tours that give you some information of the history or you can visit on your own and take photos, visit the gift shop, and explore the small area. However, you are not allowed to actually venture onto the formation as it is delicate and would be ruined by people walking on it. It can be seen from an overlook area that is very open for photos – it is simply a wood railing that does nothing to cover up the view.

Where Hell is Located

Hell is part of the Grand Cayman Island in a district called West Bay. This is part of the seven miles of beach in Grand Cayman, which is part of the British West Indies (Wikipedia Article). The Cayman Islands are located in the Caribbean just south of Cuba. It is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea and is an area prone to hurricanes due to its location. The islands include Little Cayman, Grand Cayman, and Cayman Brac, although most tourists are more familiar with Grand Cayman.

There are other popular spots nearby for visitors to enjoy such as the Cayman Motor Museum and the Cayman Turtle Farm, as well as the pristine beaches and surrounding waters of the Caribbean Sea. Every year, tourists flock to this area to see some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in the world and Hell is a part of the island that stands out due to its dark nature against such a beautiful background.

How Hell Was Created

Hell, Grand Cayman got its unique formation when Ironshore Formation limestone, which was already located there, interacted with attacking filamentous algae. It created the jagged, black coated limestone with spongy pinnacles. Interestingly, the entire area of the Cayman Islands is a geologically impressive area formed over millions of years from the interaction between the Caribbean and North American tectonic plates. There may not be any active volcanoes there now but there has been in the past. The reason the water is so clear in the Caymans is due to the lack of sediment runoff. In fact, the entire area is without lakes or streams whatsoever.

Things to Do Nearby

There are no similar landmarks near Hell since it is a unique feature. However, there is plenty that you can do in nearby Georgetown. In fact, most visitors combine a trip to other landmarks the same day since Hell is somewhat remote. It's a short visit with not much to see other than the unique limestone and salt formations. However, its story is what interests visitors and being able to say that you've visited Hell. It can be very hot, especially in the summer so water and sunscreen is advised. The crowds can be immense as well so the best time to visit is in the winter months where it is still warm but not as unbearably hot.

Fortunately, the crystal clear waters of the Cayman Islands offer a relief from the sun and with the temperatures having an average of 29 °C, with the lows in January being in the upper 21 °C range, you can swim, snorkel, and dive at any time of the year. There is also world class shopping, activities like swimming with stingrays, diving a shipwreck and artificial reef, visiting a concrete sculpture garden, or enjoying the local food. And while Hell might just be another stop on your itinerary, it's an excellent place to say that you have visited because there's pretty much nothing like it in the world and definitely nothing like it nearby.

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Author: Karsun. Last updated: Aug 09, 2014

Pictures of Hell, Grand Cayman

Hell, Grand Cayman
Hell, Grand Cayman. Photo by Karsun Designs Photography

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