Our world is full of mysterious and beautiful places. It might seem unlikely, but the world’s many lakes are some of the most unusual, unexplained, and deadly natural phenomena on the planet. From unheard-of yet natural events to countless human disappearances and even bodies of water that suddenly vanish and reappear again, here are 10 of the most mysterious lakes in the world.
10. Dead Lake
The name of this one alone should be enough to tell you that this lake in Kazakhstan is far from your ordinary body of water. Otherwise known as Lake Kaindy. This 1,300 ft. long lake near the southern city of Almaty is steeped in a long history of mystery, including human deaths. Most of which were unlucky tourist drownings. The corpses which lurk beneath its depths aren’t the only reason for its haunting name and reputation. Because the waters are also believed to be incapable of sustaining any life, from small fish to frogs and other native amphibians.
Moreover, the water, which maintains its vibrant cobalt hue due to the copious limestone deposits and algae at its depths, remains cold even throughout the warmest of seasons and isn’t known to evaporate at a normal rate. The lake isn’t just a human graveyard, either, because the earthquake which created it in 1911 also submerged the nearby spruce forest in water, drowning the roots but preserving the existing trees which now sprout from all over the surface like ghostly ship masts.
9. Lake Tahoe
This lake in America neighboring Nevada and California might not look particularly threatening. It is a hugely popular place for holidaymakers to spend a summer’s afternoon. But this lake hides some sinister secrets below its surface. For starters, Lake Tahoe is notorious for its answer to the Loch Ness monster. An elusive beast uniquely named Tessie reportedly stalks the waters here and has been sighted many times. However, never caught on camera, aah! Tessie might not be the only reason. People lost their lives here, though, as it was supposedly also a popular dumping ground for mafia victims during the 1920s. A theory that even featured in “The Godfather Part Two”.
Bodies are well-preserved in the near-freezing temperatures at the lake’s deepest points. And have been known to turn up years later in the neighboring Pyramid Lake which is connected by an underwater tunnel system. Such as the tragic discovery of a diver in 2011 who had been missing for 17 years. French explorer Jacques Cousteau did a deep-water dive in the lake back in the 1970s and returned to the surface claiming, “The world isn’t ready for what was down there”. So I guess we’ll never know what lurks beneath.
8. Blue Lake
One of the mysterious lakes in the world is known as the Blue Lake. This body of water in Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia leaves more questions than answers. The water itself doesn’t originate from the ocean or nearby rivers but the world’s biggest system of underground caves. Moreover, it never loses its bright-blue color. This phenomenon is due the great amount of lazurite and hydrogen sulfide at the bottom. This also gives it its charming local name Tserik-Kel or Stinky Lake.
Besides smelling like rotten eggs, it is also believed to be one of the world’s deepest lakes at a staggering estimated depth of 846 feet. Furthermore, it is only increasing due to erosion and caves deep below. But that’s not all, the water reportedly stays at 9.3 degrees throughout all seasons. And is so clear that visibility can reach 131 feet. The lake is still largely unexplored because of its hazardous depths. An Israeli diver who attempted to explore its vastness in 2012 was tragically only recovered a week later, his scuba diving gear mysteriously still in full operation.
7. Lake Brosno
If Lake Tahoe’s Tessie wasn’t enough, another mysterious sea monster reportedly lurks beneath the surface of this unsuspecting lake near Moscow, Russia. The Brosno Dragon or Brosnya is talked about in Russian folklore as inhabiting this lake as early as the 13th century. And many witnesses still claim to have seen the beast with their own eyes.
Of course, there have been attempts to explain all the hysteria using science. This proposes that the creature could just be an unusually large beaver or mutant pike. While a more likely alternatively suggests that hydrogen sulfide bubbling up from below could resemble a dragon head, and might even carry enough force to overturn a small fishing boat.
6. Lost Lake
It is also the mysterious lakes in the world. The Lost Lake in Oregon, US, has earned its unique name because it is quite impossible to locate during the summer months. What were a standard 85 acres, 9-foot-deep lake for half of the year completely vanishes periodically leaving only a lush green meadow with no traces of its former watery bliss.
At first, it might seem like the whole thing just evaporates, but that would take some serious heat. Instead, researchers have discovered that the secret behind this lake’s miraculous disappearing act was two lava tubes. They drained the lake as if pulling out a giant bath plug. Left in the wake of ancient volcanic flows, these holes continuously empty the lake of water. And in the warm season when the nearby streams which run into it completely dry up, their draining power is actually enough to swallow up the lake entirely until the next rainy season.
5. Lake Nicaragua
What’s so special about this lake besides it being the largest freshwater lake in Central America? It isn’t any mysterious chemical qualities or unexplored depths which give it a place on this list. But rather its unusual inhabitants. Lake Nicaragua is the only lake in the world which is home to a native population of sharks. Specifically, bull sharks. Alongside, a whole host of other marine species, like sawfish and tarpon.
As it is so unusual for sharks to live comfortably in a freshwater environment like this one. Scientists are trying to get to the bottom of this shark-infested lake. Originally assumed that the species were introduced by humans, or where different species of shark entirely. This is because, although only 12 miles from the Pacific Ocean at some points the lake doesn’t connect to its surrounding seawater. An experiment that tagged some of the bull sharks in Lake Nicaragua and later located those same sharks in the Caribbean Ocean eventually solved the mystery by revealing that the sharks were able to make the 120-mile trip through the nearby San Juan River to reach the lake instead.
4. Jellyfish Lake
If a shark-infested lake wasn’t enough to prove that some places just aren’t worth a risky dip, then take a look at Palau’s Jellyfish Lake. As its name suggests, it is home to a whopping population of over a million of these little stingers. Surprisingly, the world-renowned jellyfish lake is a popular destination. Hundreds of tourists are brave enough to enter the water every year to swim alongside these fascinating creatures. Thankfully, the various species in this lake, including the Golden Jellyfish and the Moon Jellyfish, are not reported to have strong enough stinging cells to seriously harm a human. That’s why swimming is permitted. But special care and a $100 pass are still required.
In 1998, though, there was a mysterious decline in the jellyfish in the lake. And by the end of that year, the medusa species had completely vanished. Baffled scientists were eventually able to identify this rapid decline. They found this as a direct result of the El Niño weather event which dramatically raised the water’s temperature. Whereas, a healthy annual increase in the jellyfish population has been identified under moderate weather conditions.
3. Katwe Explosion Crater
Explosion crater lakes, which sound pretty damn terrifying, are located all over Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. The biggest and most mysterious of which can be found within an area known as the Katwe explosion crater, just north of the Mweya Peninsular. Acting as the number one salt distributor in Uganda, this horrifying lake is 3,265 ft. deep. Moreover, is unable to support any animal or plant life due to its incredibly high salt contents. The name explosion crater lakes itself originates from a long history of volcanic eruptions dating back between 8 and 10,000 years ago. Those eruptions caused huge damage when the craters spewed fire and brimstone into neighboring areas.
Although dormant for many years now, Lake Katwe and other explosion crater lakes still contain sulfuric residue and often emit gas clouds from their surface. And it is possible that the water’s unusually dark appearance is a result of the way the craters would discharge ash and rock during their most active periods. Swimming in this lake is not permitted. However, the Katwe Explosion crater tour is still a hugely popular safari destination. Furthermore, it offers tourists a glimpse of the native flamingo, monkey, and even elephant populations.
2. Lake Berryessa
Lake Berryessa reservoir, located 75 miles north of San Francisco, was a pretty unremarkable lake up until 2017 when a 72-foot-wide hole seemingly opened up out of nowhere. It dramatically sucked in the contents of the surrounding lake with surprising power. Word of this giant unexplained potential sinkhole began to spread, and locals rushed to the site of the reservoir to look on in horror at this bizarre phenomenon. While many worried about the origins of this huge inverted fountain and what potential seismic activity below the surface could have caused it to open up, it turned out the hole is just a manmade glory hole designed to drain the reservoir and keep it from overflowing, while also acting as a spillway to the nearby dam.
The reason behind its sudden appearance was a result of a huge amount of rainfall following a long ten-year period of drought which had rendered the glory hole useless up until 2017. Images that show the lake during this long dry spell clearly show the huge hole. It just wasn’t quite as noticeable until it was turned into a lake-guzzling vortex.
1. Lac de Gafsa
So, the great Berryessa super hole might’ve had a pretty logical explanation. But no one was quite prepared for the miraculous overnight arrival of this lake in the scorching hot deserts of Tunisia when it hit the headlines back in August 2014. A local man claimed to have first spotted the lake in the desert Canyon, 25 kilometers from the city of Gafsa on his way back from the north of the country and thought he must’ve been hallucinating as a lake this size is unheard of in the 40-degree desert. Soon, hundreds were heading to the lake, now named Lac de Gafsa, to see if this miracle lake was truly a mistaken mirage after all. Although many jumped straight into the water and lounged around and its beach-like shores.
However, warnings soon came. The water was most likely contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals, or even large deposits of phosphate which would leave behind radioactive residue in its wake. The vast turquoise expanse quickly turned a sludgy green due to a sudden build-up of algae in the lake. This proves that there were no natural means of replenishment thus rendering its waters highly conducive to disease. Scientists have since concluded that the lake was likely created when seismic activity disrupted the underground water table, filling the expanse above with liquid. And if these large cracks did exist, they might also possess the ability to suck people under. So, perhaps this miracle lake was more of a curse after all.
The bottom line- Mysterious lakes in the world
So this was all about unique lakes in the world. Did you know that any of these mysterious lakes in the world existed? And would you be willing to visit any of them in the future? Of course yes. Do visit these lakes and enjoy their mysteries.
Note: Must read The 12 most beautiful places in the world