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The Unknown Mystery Behind This Killer Lake Claiming 5,000 Lives Will Shock You

Lake Nyos lies in northwestern Cameroon near the border of Nigeria. On August 21, 1986, a massive cloud of Carbon dioxide bubbled up from the lake and went into the valley below. This unnatural event claimed the lives of about 1,746 villagers and about 3,000 animals.

The Unknown Mystery Behind This Killer Lake Claiming 5,000 Lives Will Shock You

The Unknown Mystery Behind This Killer Lake Claiming 5,000 Lives Will Shock You

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  in History & Culture

It sounds like a movie plot

It sounds like a movie plot

But, it was a nightmarish reality for those affected. A hydrovolcanic eruption about 400 years earlier had created a crater in the lake wherein carbon dioxide got deposited over the years.

Volcanic rumblings continued way down

Volcanic rumblings continued way down

Gas seeped into the groundwater and led to "CO2-charged soda springs", said Dr. George Kling, a biologist at the University of Michigan.

"When that cap is removed, it explodes like a warm, shaken Coke."

"When that cap is removed, it explodes like a warm, shaken Coke."

The cap in this case was the weight of the water. As long as it was there, the gas stays dissolved or submerged.

Kling says he found evidence of a landslide

Kling says he found evidence of a landslide

When he visited the place after the disaster. Kling said that he found evidence of "very large and recent landslide."

Only three lakes worldwide have this peculiar characteristic

Only three lakes worldwide have this peculiar characteristic

Moreover, only two of such disasters have occurred in the course of recorded history until now.

Possibility of another such eruption

Possibility of another such eruption

Although "unlikely," Dr. Greg Tanyileke of the Cameroonian Institute for Geological and Mining Research and the chief government scientist working on the lake says Lake Nyos could suffer another deadly eruption.

Another lake in Central Africa is even bigger and uncontrollable

Another lake in Central Africa is even bigger and uncontrollable

The lake is so big that methods used to degas Cameroon's lake is simply not a solution to it. Nature has its own way of doing things, and whether it gives birth or dooms us is out of our control.

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