Secrets of the Dead lake

In the middle of a forest in Svetlogorsk district, Belarus) is a strange place. It looks all good: roads, trenches and craters, deep forest, relict lake, surrounded by pines and swamp. The lake, say, sterile. In the beautiful dead water for thousands of years did not fish, and it washes anything without soap. Even the mosquitoes are supposedly flies around this place party.

The lovers of mysticism in store a few convincing explanations of the phenomenon. As usual — something about a heavenly flame, failed and drowned the village Church, which from the depths disinfects the water, not giving it anything to get upset… With the help of divers we looked suspicious under this glossy surface. For the first time in several thousand years.

Officially, the lake is called Blue, but the locals used to call it Dead.

The elders all told, and their ancestors and so on, — the villagers explain Pogony variations of the epic in the version in which they got to the present. For example, said that in that place stood on the hill village. Once the hill was struck by lightning — all the houses together with the Church under the ground and failed. Like Perun punished for betraying traditional values.

According to other versions, a lake formed on the site of the cemetery is still pagan times or at huge stone.

Residents Pogontsev noticed: neither their memory nor the memory of ancestors was not the case in the lake someone had drowned — even sober, even drunk. Everywhere was drowning, and then — no! Pushes a dead person, no matter how you try.

Along with this successfully there is a belief that the lake is bottomless. And to make it impossible: fell through the quagmire — and remember as called. But this hypothesis, I stick mainly to urban explorers.

There is another legend about the Princess who lived in a castle by the lake. Here, too, there are variations. According to one of them, the grooms were running to take the hand of Princess ring. But no one did — all fell into the water and drowned.

According to another version, the evil Princess cursed the lake, jealous of its beauty. Because everything had died. This scenario of local enthusiasts recently even filmed.

— …After the village turn left, then left again. And left again. So in the end there left, is a resident of the village Pogony diligently, respecting the scale, we see a stick on the sand map.

If you follow this spiral plan, certainly somewhere come!

In the car with us remembers, just in case the way back medical assistant-the laboratorian Svetlogorsk zonal center of hygiene and epidemiology Natalia in a white coat. Her task is to take samples and instantly deliver them to the laboratory to understand why water is dead. In Svetlogorsk we strictly punished: Natalia save and samples according to regulations, must be delivered within two hours. Otherwise it doesn’t count.

The spiral shrinks, road, rutted by trucks, it becomes impassable to civilian vehicles. On foot.

Among pine trees are visible traces of fighting. The truck wheels dug up the oil lamp, hastily made of shells… Later turns out to be: the trees are about 80 years old. It seems that at the time of the fighting here was simply marshland. And the road to Blue lake was open, people from the surrounding villages were allegedly taken to wash there linen. Soap is not necessary, all and so depart.

The closer to the strange pond, the quieter the forest. Birds fall silent, horse flies start to buzz softly. We, too, just in case are quiet.

Finally among the trees lurks the water. Not that it was blue, the lake. Normal.

At first glance, the rumors of his “deadness” is somewhat exaggerated. Water striders are quite satisfied with local stability. Water Scorpion hastily rowing towards us: it is necessary to find out what happens. If you ever looked at the water mirror in different directions will cross two or three of the snake with a very busy appearance (as it is known, on the other side life is always better).

Technically, the lake is arranged like a bowl with a curved inside edges. On the mainland surrounding the pond, pine trees and blueberries. Further along the coast in a circle starts a band bog 10-20 meters. Under it is even possible to dive. The first time we wander in this trampoline with caution, but soon get used to it — you must jump!

Noticing how well we jump on the wave surface, snakes out of curiosity turn to us. It seems that the local inhabitants are afraid of people in General are not accustomed to. Reptiles do not run away, be placed in the hands. Frogs are large, fat — looking smart eyes languishing, but not saying anything. Small blue butterflies have politely shove to be given a pass.

At first glance — quite a lively place. Again — clean. Cheerful red sundew waiting for victims.

But when the first euphoria, note: no water plants, no duckweed or cattails, with sedges, or lilies. Not noticeable and algae. Still not heard and not seen birds. No fry near the shore or characteristic bursts of fish on the surface or floats poaching “TVs”…

Local, of course, warned that the fish here as there was no and no. They say that once launched carp — none survived. Although, it would seem that this fish is able to survive everywhere.

At the same time there are insects that have an aquatic stage of development. The web is full of mayflies. Dragonflies fly, if everything is normal.

Blue lake is completely isolated, it does not runs. In fact, the isolation of biological systems sometimes leads to new and interesting varieties of ordinary animals — marsupials carp or hairy frogs. Maybe something here will appear a hundred thousand years?

In a simple biological chain of lakes omitted many parts, which is common for “normal” water. Most importantly, there is no poacher, who should sit on the top of the food pyramid. Because without fish poachers are not needed. No birds like herons, ducks, cranes. It turns out that the local king of nature, too, and the enemy had not observed. He was not aware that there are terrible predators, and therefore behaves arrogant…

Our coherent theory destroys the strong surge at some distance from the shore! A short struggle and then silence. Who fought whom and what the expense of mystery. It turns out, lives there, someone bigger frogs?

Go check out the bottomless dead lake. This parameter is very important for divers who need to drive up any minute. The slightest motion increases turbidity, which lay peacefully for centuries.

Hmmm… Even quite far from the beach legs manage to find some driftwood. Obviously, this bell tower. In General, even if in a reservoir there are no sunken Church (the tank/plane/cemetery/Duchess), it is necessary to put. The tourism potential of the area immediately will grow in leaps and bounds.

Thinking about the development of the region diverts a cool “window” in warm water: from the bottom obviously something has. The water tasted kind of too sweet. Top with clear, beautiful Golden color.

Let’s try to shortly dive to the Golden domes, which gleam so beautifully. Always do. But already at a depth of about a meter someone harshly, without switching off the light! Weird here at optics… For darkness is added to ice cold. No, better upstairs. Really — throws.

Hydrology there are no less strange. During the flood the lake might overflow, as well as other normal water bodies. The weirdness starts in the case of drought. People say that even in the hottest years the water never fell below the level of the coastal bog. Perhaps, however, she just sags.

Natalia at the swamp not jump, focused and serious. Standing on the swaying surface, prepares a sterile vessel for samples. Water recruited 30 metres from the shore.

…While we fill bottles and cans, a couple of miles from us brutally stalled van with divers. Our proposal to test “one there is a dead lake,” they said without much argument: go! Now drag the car out of the pit.

Inexperienced people might take these people for mushroom pickers. But we are not.

Diving instructor Andrey Smirnov and his team once already traveled with us on a gorgeous quarry in “woodland Scandinavia”. Plan to return in a hundred years, when it finally flooded new careers. And yet — here, a dead lake.

— Sat on the track! commander Smirnov. — We go in pairs, calculated maximum depth of 12 meters, checked wrist computers, communication gestures and lights is likely to be muddy…

“…Yeah, and the “thirty” start “protrek”… — mumble skeptically divers.

And at 110 metres will lie tank ensures Smirnov.

Whatever it was, a historical moment: no matter how many thousands of years nor was the lake, here no one went with the equipment.

As soon as divers jump in the water, they immediately rushes one of the snakes: it is necessary to find out urgently, what new life form has arrived. After meeting and cuddling so it does not float away, and approaches the shore and is arranged among the rest of the audience.

— Well, what’s at the bottom? — the audience rush to the first coming (so rushing ahead of everyone).

Village, Church, dogs barking, farmers go to pray… is to list the submariner.

According to the computer, the maximum water depth is 2.6 meters, the temperature at the bottom is 19 degrees. The bottom is littered with tree trunks with branches. Houses, churches, farms or other buildings are not detected.

On the way back passing through Pogony. After bathing in acidic water from someone’s hair stands on end, someone went dashing curls. People own and wonder: of the legends that have heard enough now to know what there really is. But we must wait for test results. Waving:

— Zucchini! Take the zucchini. And come again!

* * *

Candidate of biological Sciences Peter Mitrakhovich once participated in the first and only study of this pond — the doctor of geographical Sciences Viktor Kiselev and candidate of geographical Sciences Alexey Artoym. It was in 2005.

— Then we found out that the water in Blue is close to the characteristics of distilled, — says Petr Anisimovich. — There is almost no dissolved salt — at least in the battery fill. Virtually no planktonic organisms and, accordingly, those plankton it feeds on. Along the shores were formed of thick deposits of sphagnum. We delved into these deposits by three meters, but the “mainland” of the bottom is not pulled out, the drill is not enough. And at this depth found polusantimetrovoy layer of chitin of insects (later identified it as dragonflies and mayflies).

What does it mean? It is believed that every meter of sediments of sphagnum — a thousand years. It turns out, three thousand years ago on the lake have been favorable conditions for the development of insects. Interestingly, at the same depth we found a pine cone if she just fell. Fresh, green, chlorophyll is not destroyed! She is at least three thousand years.

These are the conditions of preservation in sphagnum moss: there are several types of organic acids, prevents the development of plankton and cohabiting with him plants and organisms (with few exceptions). If you saw amphibians, tadpoles, it is possible that this means that the shores of the rainwater run-off a few lower acidity of the water and there possible the lives of those who have managed to adapt.

A few days were ready the results of the study of water. First look standard option — the concentration of total and thermotolerant kalimatnya bacteria (TCB and TKB). They counted for 60 colony forming units per 100 cubic centimeters. For sanitation, this means only that this pond is suitable for swimming (limit values of 500 and 100 CFU, respectively). For the candidate of Sciences of Mitrakhovich is another confirmation of the fact that water, if not dead, then close:

We see that in an acidic environment poorly developed microorganisms. Usually in ponds, this figure is much higher.

Hydrogen indicator (pH) is equal to 6. For open water it is very small, despite the fact that the day before passed a heavy rain that could slightly increase it (in 2005 was generally a 4.9). To survive in such water can few.

The oxygen content of 7.3 milligrams per cubic decimeter of water. Nothing extraordinary, but for organisms with gills — a little.

The nitrite and nitrate rates are close to zero. In rural wells, their concentration is much higher, and in natural bodies of water — several orders of magnitude.

Peter Mitrakhovich suggests that Blue is not the only fallout. This allows you to maintain a certain level even in dry years. Been there, done that. But with regard to the formation of such a strange pond, scientists have only unproven hypotheses. Perhaps once there burned a powerful peat deposits, formed a cavity in which the accumulated water.

Apparently, a few thousand years, this body of water will disappear naturally beautiful swamp will cover it completely. But until it is, such a place has value.

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