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Gafsa Beach: Experts search for answers after lake suddenly appears in desert

Tunisia has a new beach, and it is not exactly on the coast, but in the middle of a desert. The sudden appearance of Gafsa Beach lake has astonished more than one. The origin of the water that formed the lake remains a mystery. According to a Aug. 3 report from IBT, authorities now fear that this new lake, which seems to have sprung from the earth and has been named 'Lac de Gafsa' by the locals, may actually be radioactive.

Gafsa Beach
Gafsa Beach
Screenshot

Geologists have confirmed that the area where Gafsa Beach was formed is full of phosphate deposits whose residues are sometimes rich in radioactivity. The risk of water being contaminated with carcinogens is real. And yet, last Friday, despite warnings from officials, swimmers came by the hundreds.

Researchers estimate that Gafsa Beach covers an area of about 2.6 acres and measures more than 50 feet at its deepest points. As authorities investigate how this mysterious lake could have been formed, the water source remains unknown. Geologist say that it may have arisen as a result of an earthquake that fractured rock containing an underground tank, opening the flow of water to the surface.

The Public Security Bureau of Gafsa has warned the curious who have come to this lake to avoid swimming in its waters, due to fears of phosphate poisoning. Hatef Ouigi, director of Public Safety, told the television station France 24 that this warning was issued as a precautionary measure while experts perform a quality check on the water.

After the discovery of Gafsa Beach about a month ago, hundreds of people have flocked to enjoy this Tunisian oasis and even shared images and videos through social networks.