Mysterious lake appears in drought-stricken region of Tunisia

Fears that the lake could be a health hazard

A lake has mysteriously appeared in a drought-stricken region of Tunisia. Authorities have offered no official explanation for the lake’s origins but local geologists believe seismic activity may have upset the water table and caused groundwater to rise to the surface. Other theories have suggested that the canyon, where the lake sits, simply collected rain water.

The body of water, first discovered by shepherds three weeks ago, is located along the Om Larayes road, about 25km from the southern Tunisian city of Gafsa - which is why it is now called “Lake Gafsa”. It is estimated to cover an area of approximately one hectare and has a depth of up to 15m. 

Two weeks after the lake was discovered, Gafsa’s Office of Public Safety warned Tunisians that it was dangerous and not suitable for swimming in. The region is rich in phosphate - which is heavily mined in the area - and there are fears the water could be contaminated. 

This however has not stopped locals from enjoying their newfound beach.

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