Here’s something you don’t read about every day: a highly explosive lake!
As weird as that sounds, it’s a very real threat for residents of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Considered one of Africa’s Great Lakes, Lake Kivu lies on the border between the two countries and holds a secret that is causing considerable concern for the residents who live on its shores. Basically, the lake itself holds a massive amount of methane gas that is becoming increasingly unstable.
On the positive side, if the gas could be safely converted into an energy source it would be worth about 20 billion Euros, as well as provide a clean source of water to residents of the region. However, politicians, fishermen, investors, volcanologists, and physicists are too afraid to gamble with the possibility of the lake exploding, generating lake tsunamis, and causing massive damage to the surrounding area to fully invest in significant methods of extraction.
To make the deadly gas issue worse, one of the most active volcanos in Africa, Mount Nyiragongo, is only about 20 km away, and its lava is slowly creeping closer and closer to Kivu. Not good.
As you can now imagine, scientists must race against the clock in order to not only drain the lake of methane but to do so without causing damage. If successful, the newfound safety of the lake could provide the region with tremendous economic growth as well as reliable electricity.
Test the waters!
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