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WORLD'S DEADLIEST LAKE? See How Cameroon's LAKE NYOS Killed Over 1,700 People In One Night

Lake Nyos in Cameroon has been described together of the deadliest water bodies within the world, liable for a deadly natural disaster that took the lives of the many also as livestock on August 21, 1986.


Lake Nyos is extremely deep. it's quite 650 feet and surrounded by rocky cliffs. within the tropical climate of Cameroon, the nice and cozy superficial water layer will form a kind of cap covering the whole lake, consistent with reports.


On August 21, the village of Lower Nyos had gone to bed early the previous day but by morning, about 1,800 people and three ,000 livestock were discovered lying dead on the bottom . a wierd and rare volcanic phenomenon, related to the nearby Lake Nyos had claimed their lives.


According to Smithsonian Magazine, that fateful night, “many of the victims were found right where they’d normally be around 9 o’clock in the dark , suggesting they died on the spot. Bodies lay near cooking fires, clustered in doorways and in bed. Some people that had lain unconscious for quite each day finally awoke, saw their relations lying dead then committed suicide.”


Rumors of "secret government experiments," strange "invisible superweapons" or maybe a series of "atomic explosions" soon began to circulate. Only later the important killer was identified as a wierd and rare volcanic phenomenon, related to the nearby Lake Nyos.


Lake Nyos is found along the Cameroon Volcanic Line (CVL), a 950-mile long chain of volcanoes and crater lakes extending from the Gulf of Guinea into Cameroon and Nigeria.


According to Forbes, the origin of the CVL remains not completely understood. “It is feasible that in the breakup of Africa from South America some 150 million years ago, a 3rd rift began to develop, but did not become an oceanic basin just like the Atlantic Ocean”.


Geologists are still unsure why the cap of warm water, holding the gases on rock bottom of the lake, failed that night since volcanic gases, like sulfur- and carbon-dioxide, coming from the bottom , become more and more concentrated at rock bottom of the lake.


Just before the catastrophe, survivors recalled a rumbling noise was heard from the vicinity of Lake Nyos. A cloud, with a density above the encompassing air, traveled as far as 15 miles from the lake into the encompassing valleys.


Some survivors later reported a wierd smell believed to possess been from the sulfuric gases, and many people suddenly collapsed.


Lake Nyos, like other thirty lakes of volcanic origin found within the region, is extremely deep (more than 650 feet) and surrounded by rocky cliffs. within the tropical climate of Cameroon, the nice and cozy superficial water layer will form a kind of cap covering the whole lake.


Volcanic gases, like sulfur- and carbon-dioxide, coming from the bottom , become more and more concentrated at rock bottom of the lake. Geologists are still unsure why the cap of warm water, holding the gases on rock bottom of the lake, failed that night. Perhaps an earthquake or eruption on rock bottom of the lake disrupted the water stratification. 


This may need caused the rumbling noise that was reportedly heard from the vicinity of Lake Nyos just before the catastrophe. Perhaps rain disrupted the water stratification or caused one or more landslides to fall under the lake


Since the volcanic origin of the lakes was unknown to people, they attributed the lake’s act to supernatural powers, like gods, spirits or angry ancestors.


It is curious to notice that folktales helped to get the mechanism that caused the catastrophe. consistent with tales of magical springs found within the region , as soon as alittle animal, sort of a toad or bird, approaches the water, they're going to kick the bucket , as happened at Nyos. Geologists discovered that the supposed haunted springs are hot springs with a really high level of volcanic gases.


 It seemed reasonable to assume that at rock bottom of Lake Nyos similar springs exist, releasing large quantities of toxic gases into the lake. Other folktales include haunted lakes which will explode or drown people. Maybe such old stories about killer lakes are supported past disasters almost like what happened in 1986. As people didn't know of the volcanic origin of the lakes, they attributed the lake's misbehavior to supernatural powers, like gods, spirits or enraged ancestors. 


For an extended time, the shores of Lake Nyos were considered haunted and taboo. Only later people, ignoring the local traditions and taboos, settled there.


One of the foremost baffling disasters, scientists in their investigations assumed “the long-dormant volcano under its crater had erupted, spewing out some quite deadly fumes,” consistent with the report by the Smithsonian.


Over the years, however, the researchers uncovered “a monstrous, much more insidious geologic disaster—one thought to exist only in myth,” the report added.


The researchers also discovered that the disaster could happen again at Nyos and a minimum of one additional lake nearby – Lake Monoun, which on Assumption , 1984, recorded an explosion, presumably caused by a sudden gas eruption, killing 37 people.


In a bid to stop these lakes from exploding again, engineers, in 2011, installed pipes in both to suck CO2 from the lake bottom and release it very gradually into the air, consistent with Science Alert.


A dam has since been built round the wall of Lake Nyos to guard it. Despite these preventive measures, the lake remains considered by many experts as dangerous and therefore the 1986 event remains engraved within the minds of Cameroonians.


The considerably small lake, which turned dull red at the time is now once more blue and tranquil. “Nyos,” within the regional Mmen language, means “good,” but in Itangikom, a related tongue, it means “to crush.”

Content created and supplied by: Edogist (via Opera News )

Cameroon Lake Lake Nyos Lower Nyos Smithsonian Magazine

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