There's an exploding lake in Cameroon that killed nearly 2,000 people

The world is full of all sorts of strange, and sometimes deadly, features and among them is Cameroon's Lake Nyos, which exploded and claimed the lives of people in a number of adjacent villages.

In 1986, Lake Nyos, a crater lake in the north west of the country, suffocated almost two thousand people in a single night. Like many other crater lakes, which are formed by subterranean volcanic activity, Lake Nyos contained a high level of carbon dioxide gas.

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Halima Suley and her daughter Nafih have resettled on high ground above Lake Nyos after the 1986 disaster which killed four of Halima's children. (Photo by Louise Gubb/Corbis via Getty Images)
A wild bird of prey lies dead beside one of the many toxic 'soda springs' that bubble up from underground near Lake Nyos. The spring, which releases carbon dioxide gas that lies trapped beneath Lake Nyos, is a surface expression of what's happening under the lake water. The gas asphyxiated 2000 people when it was released from Lake Nyos in a dense cloud in 1986. (Photo by Louise Gubb/Corbis via Getty Images)
In 1986, carbon dioxide (CO2) gas asphyxiated 2000 people when it was released from Lake Nyos in a dense cloud. The degassing fountain in the middle of the lake was created in an attempt by international (US, French, Japanese & Cameroonian) scientists to gently release the noxious gas from the bottom of the lake. (Photo by Louise Gubb/Corbis via Getty Images)
Landscape including calm brown water of Lake Nyos, famous for a CO2 eruption which killed many people and live stock, Ring Road, Cameroon, Africa.
An unidentified mother and child recover from the disastrous gas eruption at Lake Nyos in Cameroon, at the hospital in Wum, Aug. 29, 1986. (AP Photo/Anat Givon)
Cameroonian soldiers arrive at the village of Souboum to search for survivors and recover bodies, Aug. 26, 1986, days after a lethal mist of carbon dioxide and water droplets rose from Lake Nyos in a limnic eruption, killing over 1,700 people, thousands of cattle and other animals. Some of the rescue and recovery crew wear handkerchiefs over their faces to protect from the smell of corpses and any traces of the lethal gas. (AP Photo/Anat Givon)
Cameroonian soldiers arrive at the village of Souboum to search for survivors and recover bodies, Aug. 26, 1986, days after a lethal mist of carbon dioxide and water droplets rose from Lake Nyos in a limnic eruption, killing over 1,700 people, thousands of cattle and other animals. Some of the rescue and recovery crew wear handkerchiefs over their faces to protect from the smell of corpses and any traces of the lethal gas. (AP Photo/Anat Givon)
Villagers swim in water as de-gassing fountain pumps carbon dioxide from Lake Nyos, Cameroon, photo
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However, instead of the gas dissipating over time as the water turned over, the lake stored the gas for centuries, making it a ticking time bomb for residents close by.

Once the lake was triggered, an explosion known as a limnic eruption occurred so catastrophic that it released thousands of tons of the toxic gas at a reported speed of 60 miles per hour, annihilating life in a 15-mile radius.

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