This video was made possible by Brilliant. The first 755 people to sign up over at Brilliant.org/reallifelore, will get 20% off their premium subscriptions. There are millions of lakes in the world and Canada is home to over 60% of them. Fortunately for Canadians though, none of these lakes are anywhere near as bad as the most dangerous one in the world which is actually located here in Africa, between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. This is Lake Kivu, and if you look at pictures of it on Google it doesn’t really look all that dangerous, so what gives? It’s kind of a big lake I guess. It’s the 9th deepest lake in the world too, but that means that there is 8 more that are even deeper. There’s other lakes like this one, that’s literally called Boiling Lake, because the temperature can get up to 92 degrees Celsius. So what makes the innocent-looking Lake Kivu so dangerous? It probably has something to do with the fact that the lake seems to occasionally explode and kill everything around it. But how does that happen? A lake exploding sounds pretty weird, but it’s because it doesn’t happen very often. The first time in recorded history that we observed something like this was just back in 1984 at another African lake here, Lake Manoun. On August 15th of that year, local people reported hearing a loud noise and seeing a gas cloud emanating from the lake. 37 people ended up dying with reports of skin discoloration, which lead to investigators to initially believe that the incident was a terrorist attack. But, two years later, the nearby Lake Nyos experienced a very similar, but even more catastrophic event. Here’s what really happened in both cases: The lakes were completely saturated with gases, like CO2, the CO2 may have come from volcanic gas below the lakes, or from the decreased composition of organic materials. But the end result of a high concentration of the gas in the water is the same. Before the lake becomes saturated though, it behaves much like an unopened soft drink. Meaning that the CO2 is dissolved in the water. In both the lake and the soft drink, CO2 dissolves much more readily at higher pressure. This is why bubbles in a can of soda form only after the can is opened, the pressure is released and so the CO2 comes out of solution. In the case of lakes, the bottom experiences way higher pressure than the surface, the deeper it is, the higher the pressure at the bottom is. This means that huge amounts of CO2 can be dissolved in large, deep lakes, like both of these were. CO2 also dissolves much more readily in cooler water, like at the bottom of a lake. So once a lake is saturated with CO2 like this, it becomes extremely unstable, all it takes is a trigger event, like a volcano, earthquake or explosion to set the whole thing off. Whatever the cause, the trigger event pushes the saturated water higher into the lake, where the low pressure can’t keep the CO2 contained anymore. Bubbles start forming at the surface, a column of gas erupts on top, the water at the bottom is pulled up by suction which causes a runaway loss of CO2 and an eventual explosion. Imagine shaking a can of soda and opening it, but on an epicly bigger scale. At Lake Nyos, this event happened in the middle of the night and sent a 25 meter high tsunami surging into the other side of the beach, the lake turned a deep red and a 1.2 cubic kilometer toxic gas cloud of CO2 started migrating off the water and into the nearby villages. Because CO2 is denser than air, it has a bad tendency to stick to the ground while pushing breathable air up, as a result, when the cloud entered the surrounding villages, people couldn’t breathe and experienced severe CO2 poisoning. Nearly everyone around the lake that night died and people as far away as 25 kilometers even suffered from it. In all, over 1700 people lost their lives in the catastrophe, as well as thousands of cattle and wild animals. But as bad as all of that was, the potential for the same thing happening at Lake Kivu would be a lot worse. These lake explosions are called Limnic Eruptions, and Lake Kivu has the exact same symptoms that the previous two lakes had, the only differences are that Lake Kivu is a lot bigger and has a lot more gas built up inside of it. 65 cubic kilometers of methane and 256 cubic kilometers of CO2, 2 million people live around the shores of the lake and if an eruption were to happen here, all of their lives would be in jeopardy. Even creepier though, geologists operating around the lake discovered evidence that suggested a local extinction event happens about once every 1000 years that wipes out a large part of the local wildlife. If it’s the lake exploding once every thousand years like it seems, well, that’s pretty bad news. So what are we doing to fix this problem? Not really anything at all right now, the Rwandan government extracts a lot of methane from it for energy purposes, when it’s probably not enough to guarantee that the disaster won’t ever happen. At the first two lakes I talked about, they’ve installed a series of pipes to release the gas above the surface, but since Lake Kivu is so much bigger that may not be as practical. Releasing that much gas would be 2% of the annual amount humanity releases from burning fossil fuels and it would cost millions of dollars to do, which the neighboring countries may not be so willing to spend. The solution to the most dangerous lake in the world remains elusive and with no clear answer and sight it may only be a matter of time until another disaster happens. If you want to be the one to come up with the answer you can mention it in the comments, but before you do, you should probably learn a bit about physics and chemistry by visiting the courses over at Brilliant.org. Brilliant is the best place to learn about things like everyday physics, special relativity, computer science and more because they teach you how to understand things visually without making you check for pointless rules. With Brilliant you learn by playing through puzzles that help you build you core knowledge and intuition so you can actually come to learn about these concepts. You can take as many of these masterfully designed courses as you want with their premium subscription which, by being one of the first 755 people to click on the link in the description, you can get for 20% off. You can learn something cool and support RealLifeLore at the same time and I’ll see you again next Friday for another brand new video then.

Why This Lake is the Deadliest in the World

100 thoughts on “Why This Lake is the Deadliest in the World

  • April 6, 2018 at 3:21 pm
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    I swear to all of you guys I'll throw in a Toyota Corolla reference in my next video. Been awhile. Anyway, hope ya'll enjoyed watching this one 🙂 If you want to learn some more cool stuff don't forget to check out Brilliant next here; https://brilliant.org/RealLifeLore/

    Leave any suggestions or comments for future videos below and I'll be sticking around for a bit to reply to as many of you as I can!

    Reply
  • June 18, 2019 at 8:27 pm
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    I love your voice

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  • June 18, 2019 at 11:09 pm
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    Drop a mentos down that shit

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  • June 19, 2019 at 5:09 am
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    Let it explode. That’s nature. That’s how it works.

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  • June 20, 2019 at 10:58 am
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    I think it's really yo mama's bathtub….

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  • June 21, 2019 at 10:41 am
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    We need to build a wall!!!

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  • June 21, 2019 at 6:13 pm
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    They should evacuate all people and animals then make it explode and let the people live there again

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  • June 21, 2019 at 7:18 pm
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    Tell it we dont give it consent to do that and then go home

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  • June 21, 2019 at 11:37 pm
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    I got a funnel home advertisement before this.

    Reply
  • June 22, 2019 at 1:23 pm
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    Who made the English subtitles? It's not "no clear answer and sight", it's "no clear answer in sight"…

    Reply
  • June 23, 2019 at 10:41 am
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    Just let the Canadian Prime Minister carbon tax it and all will be well.

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  • June 23, 2019 at 2:44 pm
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    drain the fricking lake. problem solved simply

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  • June 23, 2019 at 4:40 pm
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    Just more proof that everything in Africa (including the blacks) are shit.

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  • June 23, 2019 at 8:38 pm
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    What about a fountain? A single fountain with an inlet tube extending down roughly 250 to 300 meters (just over half the depth) that shoots water straight up about 7 to 10 meters. It should release the CO2 and methane in quantities manageable by the local atmosphere and mix new oxygen in at the surface without further action afterwards. It may not make the lake 100% safe from this event, but it should reduce the risk with very minimal cost. Could even make it solar powered so no need to run high voltage cabling through the water and it is just a floating fountain (anchored of course).

    Reply
  • June 24, 2019 at 3:21 am
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    Just move the lake to mars

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  • June 24, 2019 at 9:26 am
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    Water is boiling not smart
    Water is at 10°c smart
    Water is angry god

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  • June 24, 2019 at 10:08 am
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    Drop mentos

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  • June 24, 2019 at 7:27 pm
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    Nuke it

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  • June 26, 2019 at 11:00 am
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    Put a tarp on it

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  • June 26, 2019 at 11:38 am
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    Drain the lake🤗

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  • June 27, 2019 at 6:48 am
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    wait what happens if you drop a mento in this exploding lake?

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  • June 27, 2019 at 9:39 am
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    I whould love to see a tomahawk missile just straight dive in the middle of the lake and then exploding

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  • June 27, 2019 at 7:00 pm
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    Its just people putting mentos in the lake

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  • June 28, 2019 at 3:28 am
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    Just evacuate everyone and drop a bomb in it. Boom. Done. Everyone move back and then not worry for 1000 years.

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  • June 28, 2019 at 3:42 pm
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    Remove moisture

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  • June 30, 2019 at 7:38 pm
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    Throw in a mento!

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  • July 4, 2019 at 5:33 am
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    Trifecta in play…

    Reply
  • July 4, 2019 at 11:56 pm
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    Video start: 0:10
    Ends at: 5:10
    if you don't want waste time on sponsorship sellouts like RLL

    Reply
  • July 5, 2019 at 1:12 am
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    All we have to do is not live around that lake boom problem solved

    Reply
  • July 5, 2019 at 9:54 am
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    What is the rush to speak so fast??? Do you have a suppositorie in your ass?
    Interested but sorry, I can´t use this for my English students.

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  • July 6, 2019 at 6:11 am
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    But when you put tnt in water it doesn’t explode

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  • July 6, 2019 at 3:36 pm
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    Just make it illegal to explode

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  • July 7, 2019 at 8:56 pm
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    Put a big dome around the lake so when it explodes the gas can’t kill people

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  • July 7, 2019 at 8:57 pm
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    that if they builded a wall

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  • July 8, 2019 at 10:15 am
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    harvest the carbonated water for fizzie drinks and pump back in fresh water

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  • July 9, 2019 at 5:04 am
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    How about we take out the water there, since there are other lakes around anyway, and give it to the Aral sea

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  • July 10, 2019 at 10:20 am
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    In Africa everything kills you, even a dumb lake -_-

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  • July 10, 2019 at 11:37 pm
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    We could easily deal with the lake in a way that is profitable. What Rwanda could do is export the methane gas to other countries.

    Reply
  • July 11, 2019 at 6:34 pm
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    I thought that Sarez is most dangerous

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  • July 12, 2019 at 8:12 am
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    Tell America there is oil in it

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  • July 13, 2019 at 11:41 am
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    Sell it as lpg

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  • July 14, 2019 at 12:29 pm
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    I think it's best to plant thousands of trees around the lake when the gas is pumped out in a slight w and controlled manner. This way, a lot of greenery could be added and the carbon wouldn't go around warming the atmosphere.

    Reply
  • July 15, 2019 at 7:34 am
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    I find it kind of funny how after he makes his point in the videos he immediately diverges into promoting a different app every time.

    Reply
  • July 17, 2019 at 7:18 am
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    Lake Kill-u

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  • July 20, 2019 at 10:10 pm
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    The plants liked it, didn't kill them.

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  • July 27, 2019 at 4:03 am
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    Thanks for the shout out at the beginning on the part of me and all the other canadians here!

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  • July 27, 2019 at 5:25 pm
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    Maybe we can bioengineer a bacteria that eats the C and releases the O2? Get on it, egg heads

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  • July 27, 2019 at 5:36 pm
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    Aliens, coming to take over Earth: "Oh hell naw, they got exploding lakes"

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  • July 27, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    Evacuate everyone then trigger the explosions on purpose with a bomb. Then not worry about it for another 1000 years

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  • July 27, 2019 at 10:10 pm
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    Just try
    DROPING MENTOS ON THAT LAKE
    WAHAPEN?

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  • July 28, 2019 at 6:33 pm
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    build a coca cola factory

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 3:43 pm
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    Nuke it

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  • July 31, 2019 at 4:05 pm
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    problem: exploding lake
    solution: build a WALL around the lake

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 8:53 pm
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    Just take it away

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  • August 1, 2019 at 12:36 am
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    Nuke it. Problem….. solved

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  • August 3, 2019 at 9:21 am
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    This is what happens when u let Michael Bay direct lakes

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  • August 3, 2019 at 12:16 pm
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    Tell ppl to not live there

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  • August 4, 2019 at 6:36 am
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    2:56
    Jesus christ someone must have pissed off god
    The lake turned red first

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  • August 4, 2019 at 2:44 pm
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    the most dangerous lake in ZA WOURALDO

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 6:05 am
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    Fascinating, yet scary as fuck.

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 6:44 am
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    We should all bottle up our farts and attack methane with methane ☄️❄️🔥🌬️

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 11:36 am
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    What if we gave the co2 to cocacola

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  • August 8, 2019 at 1:50 pm
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    Melt the lake

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  • August 9, 2019 at 2:28 am
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    If the government wasn't so corrupt. They could fund and build a sizeable LNG plant and extract the methane and co2 for local and international export.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 6:51 am
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    This must be where they get McDonald’s sprite

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  • August 9, 2019 at 8:09 pm
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    Throw some mentos into the lake!

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  • August 11, 2019 at 5:22 am
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    If you live in tornado alley, or in a common pathway for hurricanes, or on a fault line then I don't feel bad when mother nature happens to you. This goes double for idiots that live near a lake that's going to explode and then poison the town.

    Reply
  • August 11, 2019 at 6:23 am
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    Why the hell would people live in Africa?

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  • August 11, 2019 at 9:09 am
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    Just evacuate the area around the lake, then trigger it intentionally. Maybe a bomb?

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  • August 12, 2019 at 4:15 am
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    If the eruptions can be caused by explosions couldn’t the area be evacuated and then the lake could manually erupted?

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  • August 12, 2019 at 9:35 am
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    Just went for a swim there a few weeks ago

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  • August 12, 2019 at 1:20 pm
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    Trow a granade in it

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  • August 12, 2019 at 1:27 pm
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    No water my ass

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  • August 15, 2019 at 9:22 am
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    throw nukes at it

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  • August 15, 2019 at 8:13 pm
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    Someone should put signs prohibiting people going around the lakes with Mentos or Samsung phones in hand

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  • August 15, 2019 at 9:45 pm
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    This pipes to release the gasses are a genius idea: they're just pipes; the bubbles create a flow of water that sucks more water in. Inside the pipe new bubbles form and so on. No pumps, no maintenance – besides watching if the water still flows.

    Reply
  • August 16, 2019 at 6:01 am
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    Who would have thought one of the biggest threats to Africa was a gassy lake?

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  • August 17, 2019 at 4:26 am
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    the carbon dioxide is going to get released eventually so you might as well put the stupid tubes in there.

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  • August 17, 2019 at 9:50 am
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    What about drawing channels from the lake and add them as tributaries to rivers or directly into the ocean….
    This would cost a lot of money and relocation of humanity but in any case this could prevent annihilation…

    Reply
  • August 19, 2019 at 3:00 am
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    Drain the lake. There can't be an explosion if there's no lake.

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  • August 19, 2019 at 4:15 pm
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    Isn't that soviet nuclear waste dump lake more dangerous? I mean the filled it in but I'd still say it's more dangerous to die a lot like all the time than to occasionally maybe die quiet a lot.

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  • August 20, 2019 at 6:17 am
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    Submerge few machines at different locations that will circulate the water below to the surface. Make senses?

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  • August 20, 2019 at 8:17 am
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    Lake Karachay: Am I a joke to you?

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  • August 21, 2019 at 8:00 am
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    Nuke the shit out of it

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  • August 22, 2019 at 4:18 am
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    drop a nuke in it

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  • August 23, 2019 at 2:22 am
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    Let it happen. Africa needs a mass extinction event anyway.

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  • August 23, 2019 at 4:37 am
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    Interesting story. For me, I would suggest to bring more green aquatic plants or microorganisms into that lake therefore more carbon fixation to occur to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide inside the lake.

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  • August 26, 2019 at 4:30 am
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    I hate it when my local lake just explodes and kills everything around it

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  • August 26, 2019 at 11:50 pm
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    They need to evacuate everyone within 100 miles and set off a shit load of charges at the bottom of the lake. 2 million people shouldn't be so hard to evacuate. With 0 public transportation. Probably 1 vehicle for every 40 people. It sure beats dying.

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  • August 27, 2019 at 10:44 pm
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    Why is this on my recommendation a year late
    Why am I watching this video
    Why am I watching it like I know these lakes
    Why?

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  • August 28, 2019 at 2:48 am
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    Makes me want to water ski on it. Who wants to go?

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  • August 30, 2019 at 9:06 am
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    Use depth charges on windy days. Try to detonate once a year so as not to give time for CO2 and methane to accumulate

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  • August 30, 2019 at 2:52 pm
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    fuck

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  • September 1, 2019 at 12:20 am
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    Don't worry. Trump will build a wall around it.

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  • September 1, 2019 at 7:35 am
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    Deadliest lake? No! This is the radioactive Russian lake karachay. One hour there and you die…

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  • September 1, 2019 at 6:36 pm
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    just let every house have a dive equipment with oxygen bottles. Just enough to escape the gas and drive away from the lake

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  • September 2, 2019 at 9:47 am
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    i thought it was my piss after I’ve only drunk coke for two days

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  • September 4, 2019 at 12:25 am
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    Drop a mentos in it

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  • September 4, 2019 at 2:30 am
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    Nuke the lake

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  • September 9, 2019 at 4:48 pm
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    Wrong. Toba lake was the deadliest!

    Reply

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