Silver Springs, mineral spring, N central Fla., source of the Silver River. The limestone spring, one of the world's largest and most famous, has a basin 80 ft (24 m) deep and 300 ft (91 m) wide. The water temperature is 72°F; (22°C;) throughout the year. The extreme clearness of the water is due to the filtration of rainwater through the porous soil and substrata. Silver Springs remains a tourist attraction; a great variety of aquatic life may be seen through glass-bottomed boats. The Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto was probably the first European to visit the spring (1539). The town of Silver Springs is nearby.