FromQuarkstoQuasars

Lake “Magically” Appears out of Thin Air

Image posted on Facebook by a local.
Image posted on Facebook by a local.

Somewhere in the world, there is a place called Tunisia. Currently, the small African nation has been stricken with a drought that usually happens every 10 or so years. Then, suddenly, this lake appeared out of nowhere. Locals have been flocking to it for the last few weeks and have named “Gafsa Beach” – which is named after the location it resides in. The lake is estimated to cover about 2.6 acres of land and it reaches depths of up to 15 meters (50 feet).

When the lake was first discovered, Gafsa safety officials warned the public to avoid the water while it was tested to ensure its safety. The real concern was the water might be carcinogenic because there is phosphate mining throughout the region. In addition, when the lake first appeared it was very clear, but has now become a greenish brown color. This means that the lake is stagnant, which makes it a great place for disease and parasites to call home. Nevertheless, this hasn’t stopped hundreds of locals from having some fun in the new body of water.

gafsa-lake-1So, where did the lake come from? We don’t know. The most logical explanation is that a tremor caused a fracture in a layer of rock that held an underground reservoir. This allowed water to come rushing to the surface creating the lake.

The lake hasn’t been given the green light by Gafsa officials yet. It’s also unclear how long the lake will remain. For now, it remains a curiosity.

 

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