Mystery of the Great Lakes Smoke

Big lake that will smoke

  This big smoking lake is called Lake Malawi, located at the junction of Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania in southern Africa. The locals also call it Lake Niassa, which means “large water or lake”. The scenery of Lake Malawi can be described as picturesque. The water here is clear and clear. On a windless day in September, the transparency of the lake can reach 20 meters. Standing on a boat or by the lake, you can see a group of fish swimming around. It is also a great place for diving. Even if you don’t use any equipment, you can see the bottom of the lake at a glance. The lake is clear and beautiful, and the surrounding scenery is not inferior. The big lake is surrounded by mountains on three sides, surrounded by peaks and mountains, surrounded by high cliffs, waterfalls cascading, gurgling water, and the lake water complement each other. It is known as the most magnificent lake and mountain scenery in Central and South Africa.

  However, this large lake sometimes has mysterious smoking phenomena, which is very surprising: at a certain dawn in the rainy season, suddenly, I saw a cloud of gray-black smoke rising from the lake in the distance, they were spiral-shaped Stretching upwards, some stretched their teeth and danced their claws, spreading everywhere; some were light and wandering, like threads of silk; some were as dark as ink, murderous…In a blink of an eye, the smoke rose hundreds of meters high, like a sharp sword. The clear sky, almost touching the white clouds in the sky, looked shocking.

Great Lakes Smoke Conjecture

  Why does the great lake suddenly smoke?
  Conjecture 1: The lake god is angry. Local indigenous people believe that there is a lake god who lives in Lake Malawi, who is in charge of the large and small fish and shrimps of the entire lake. Most of the time, this god has nothing to do and has to lie on the bottom of the lake to sleep. Taking advantage of this opportunity, people hurried to fish and catch shrimp on the lake. But one day each year, the lake god would suddenly wake up. When he saw his aquatic race being captured by humans, he couldn’t help but furious. The anger rushed out of the water and immediately formed a cloud of smoke that hit the sky.
  Conjecture 2: Volcano eruption. Volcanic eruption is the most intense manifestation of the earth’s internal heat on the surface. During this process, volcanoes will not only emit fiery red magma, but also emit a large amount of smoke and ash. Volcanic eruptions not only occur on land, but also occur from time to time at the bottom of the ocean thousands of meters deep, and many islands are the product of volcanic eruptions. According to scientific investigations, the area where Lake Malawi is located is located in the Great Rift Valley of Africa. Under the joint action of the African plate and the Indian Ocean plate, the geology of this area is very unstable, and volcanic eruptions are entirely possible.
  So, are the smoke clouds on the Great Lakes really formed by volcanic eruptions? Not! Because the volcanic smoke cloud is generally mushroom-shaped and the color is thicker, more importantly, after each smoke, no trace of volcanic eruption is found in the lake.
  Conjecture 3: Gas burning. This statement is not a fantasy, nor is it baseless, because some lakes have flammable gases such as methane dissolved in them. For example, only a few hundred kilometers away from Lake Malawi, there is a Kivu. lake. Its area is much smaller than Lake Malawi, but according to scientific determination, about 55 billion cubic meters of methane and other gases are dissolved in the lake water up to 300 meters deep. In other words, Lake Kivu is like a giant filled with fuel. The barrel may burn at any time.
  If there are flammable gases in Lake Malawi, in the case of insufficient combustion, a lot of smoke may indeed be produced. However, this large lake is completely different from Lake Kivu. Its water quality is clear and transparent, and scientific investigations have not found any flammable gas in the lake.
It turned out to be the lake gnats!

  After investigating, the scientists discovered that the culprit of the smoke cloud was the unremarkable little insect-lake gnat.
  Gnats are what we usually call mosquitoes. There are more than 1270 species of gnats known in the world, and lake gnats are just one of them. They have long, needle-like mouths, large wings, short feet, and a hunched back. Although they look a little scary, they are very “petite” in shape, with a body length of 2 to 5 mm.
  How can these little guys form a huge cloud of hundreds of meters high?
  It turned out that on the bottom of Lake Malawi, there is a dead water area formed by deep-water vortices. This can be said to be a desert area of ​​a large lake. Due to the low oxygen content, many creatures, including fish and shrimp, cannot survive. But there is one kind of creature exception, it is the larvae of lake gnats: hundreds of millions of larvae hatch in the water and hide here to grow up carefree and happy. When the rainy season came, these guys also grew up, so at dawn one day, they collectively surfaced in the same place and started a magical transformation show: they turned into insects, grew wings, and immediately flew to the sky to find a partner. When hundreds of millions of lake gnats fly off the lake and gather together to mate, they form a gyroscopic cloud of smoke hundreds of meters high. Because of the long distance, people on the shore can’t really see it, so they mistakenly think that the big lake is smoking.
  This spectacle didn’t last long. After mating, the lake gnats all fell to the surface and died immediately after laying their eggs. But after their eggs hatch in the lake, the larvae will enter the dead water area to live again. When the rainy season comes the next year, these little guys will gather in large numbers on the lake again like their parents, staged a shocking spectacle of smoking in the lake.