Lake Nyos in Cameroon - only for extreme tourists

Lake Nios in Cameroon formed only 400 yearsback as a result of a hydrothermal explosion, when magma escaped from the abyss met with groundwater. This part of the country is occupied by a volcanic mountain range. A new lake filled the crater formed. For a long time, the volcano was considered extinct. Despite the wonderful views from the shores of this high-mountain reservoir, tourists rarely looked here. Only a few villages were located near the lake, which has a height of over a thousand meters above sea level.

Lake Nios in Cameroon

The situation changed in 1986.About the relatively small (1400 meters long and 900 wide) lake in Cameroon spoke the whole world. At the end of August, almost all the inhabitants of the villages of Fang, Cha, Subum and Nios were killed overnight. There are no pets, no birds, not even insects. Even the vegetation along the banks of the reservoir became brown and seemed frozen. Scientists called the incident a "limnological catastrophe," and ordinary people began to call Nyos "the killer lake." So what happened on that fatal evening of 08/21/86?

Cameroon Lake

On the bodies of more than one and a half thousand dead, as well aseight hundred injured blisters were recorded. This led the researchers to suggest that the volcano came to life. But the reality was much more interesting. Lake Nios in Cameroon is truly volcanic, and carbon dioxide continues to flow from its crater and other microscopic crevices into its waters. It accumulates in the bottom layers. Analysis of water extracted from the depths showed that immediately after the catastrophe it was oversaturated with CO2, methane and helium. But the lion's share of toxic gases (96%) was still carbon dioxide.

At the end of the summer in this area - the rainy season.Most likely, the cold and dense water brought by precipitation and numerous streams overflowed Lake Nios. There was so much of it that it completely covered the surface of the water area, forming a surface layer. In the depths, warm waters saturated with poisonous gas rested. The difference in the density of the layers was the “trigger”, which launched a catastrophic chemical reaction. On the evening of August 21, a strong northerly wind blew, which drove away rainwater in the south. Opened bottom layers immediately began to emit gas. We see a similar reaction by opening the bottle.

Nios lake
ku with soda. Only the scale of what was happening was much larger.

As a result, Lake Nios in Cameroon turnedshrouded in mist. The gas that has escaped to freedom absorbs energy, as a result of which the air temperature in a matter of seconds has dropped to ten degrees. The bubbles were so huge that they created a small tsunami that flooded the southern regions. And in the north, a cold, poisonous fog crawled through the valleys, bringing death to all living things.

Now Lake Nios in Cameroon looks prettycute and picturesque. But tourists come here only in one category. These are the ones who love to "tickle your nerves." After all, new measurements of water, made in 1992, showed that CO2 again began to flow into the bottom layers of the lake. Who knows how the natural conditions will develop, and whether the deadly chemical process will start in the near future?