Asphalt lake

Not far from the mouth of the Orinoco River in South America is located in the Atlantic Ocean island of Trinidad.

On this island there is a small circular asphalt lake Pitch Lake is 2 km in diameter, an area of 47 hectares

On this island there is a small circular asphalt lake Pitch Lake is 2 km in diameter, an area of 47 hectares. It is filled with liquid asphalt. The surface of the lake is a frozen mass of 30 cm. If the crust to make a hole, liquid asphalt flow out of it. Asphalt - an important means of state arrived to Trinidad and Tobago. Each year the asphalt lake gives about 100 thousand tons of asphalt, but, as no surprise, not asphalt lake shallower; asphalt all the time arrives here from the island's interior.

The depth of this natural "boiler with asphalt" we can only guess. Reconnaissance drill hole reached a depth of 100 m and did not feel the bottom of the lake. All this indicates that the asphalt lake is virtually inexhaustible. At current production levels the lake will be a renewable source of asphalt for 400 years.

On the origin of this lake there is a certain point of view. It is believed that the lake is asphalt extinct volcano crater. But a complete study of the lake was conducted. It is assumed that, being on the border of two faults asphalt lake bottom is replenished with oil. Lighter components of the oil evaporate, leaving the heavier fractions.

That the world's largest natural reservoir of asphalt was discovered by Walter Raleigh in 1595, which immediately found a use for it. Bitumen asphalt lake used for tarred wood paneling ships.

According to legend, the place where is located the asphalt lake, a settlement of Indians Cheema. After defeating the enemy tribe of Indians made a holiday with a feast, where they ate a large number of sacred birds hummingbirds, forgetting that they are believed spirits of their ancestors. As punishment, the gods revealed the ground and caused a tar lake, engulfed the whole village and its inhabitants.

Interestingly, the asphalt lake to the island of Trinidad was a kind of museum. At the moment it is a tourist attraction that is visited by over a year about 20 thousand. Man. It is often found working in the asphalt weapons and different things of everyday life of ancient Indians.

Pitch Lake is one of the bitumen pits formed a natural way. Such objects can also be found in Venezuela, California and other places.