The Asphalt Lake of Trinidad

October 19, 2008

It may look as uninteresting as an empty parking-lot but it is much more than that…it’s a natural asphalt lake.

The Pitch Lake, as it is frequently called is a “lake” covering about 40ha with a reported depth of about 75 meters. Instead of water, the Pitch Lake is filled with…pitch. Although it hasn’t been carefully studied, scientists say it lies at the intersection of two faults, which allows oil to be pushed up. Its lighter elements simply evaporate in the atmosphere and leave only the asphalt.

It was discovered back in 1595 by Sir Watler Raleigh and it has fascinated the scientific world ever since. It attracts about 20,000 tourists every year but some simply find it too boring. Asphalt from The Pitch Lake is mined for asphalt that is then exported all-over the world as high-quality road-construction material.

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