GREEN

Mysterious Lake Appears In The Middle Of Tunisian Desert

08/01/2014 09:09 am ET | Updated Aug 02, 2014

Tunisian residents have a new beach to visit -- right in the middle of the desert.

Locals were astounded when a lake appeared recently in a drought-stricken area. They've since named the miraculous sight "Gafsa Beach" for its location within a region of the same name in southern Tunisia.

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The mysterious body of water, which observers estimate covers an area of about 2.6 acres and measures more than 50 feet at its deepest points, seems to have emerged right from the Earth. While officials investigating how the lake formed still do not know the source of the water, the running theory is that a tremor fractured a layer of rock holding an underground reservoir, according to French-language reports. The groundwater would have then flowed through a crack in the rock and filled the canyon over a period of time.

After the lake was discovered earlier this month, Gafsa's public safety office warned visitors to avoid swimming in the waters, since officials had yet to confirm the safety of the mysterious body of water. Some speculated that the water could be harmful to humans or, possibly, carcinogenic since there is phosphate mining in the region.

However, that has not stopped locals from enjoying their newfound beach.

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