Hell

Hell is comprised of a group of short, black, limestone formations that are located in the northwest corner of Grand Cayman in the Caribbean. It is roughly the size of half a football field which visitors are allowed to view only from special platforms.

There are two versions of how Hell received its name:

  • the first is based upon its appearance, while
  • the second is based upon the claim that if a pebble is thrown into the formation, the echoes produced among the limestone peaks and valleys sound as if it is falling down to Hell

The site also features a gift shop which sells postcards of Hell along with a fire-engine red hell-themed post office from which one can send “postcards from Hell”. It is even possible to get a passport stamp from Hell (below). Some local stores also feature prominent Biblical quotations on their sides due to the religious nature of Caymanian society.

Known as phytokarst (or “biokarst”), Hell’s distinctive black, jagged sponge-work of pinnacles lacking any gravitational orientation is produced when attacking algae, bacteria, and fungi interact with the type of ironshore limestone present in the area. Consequently, the curious type of erosion created here is contrary to that of ordinary karst, which is created by rainfall and characterized by flat-bottomed pans and vertically-oriented flutes.

  • Visited: Feb 2020

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