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Yet another place you might or might not want to visit Aug 25

This country has some of the most beautiful, wild places on the planet, and it has a horrible history, and it hosts the location of an extremely dangerous event that hasn’t happened yet. Rwanda, central Africa. Pronounced roo-wanda.

The country experienced some horrible genocide back in the mid 90′s, but that’s over now, and the tourist industry is justifiably growing by leaps and bounds. For the adventuresome.

Normal adventurers

This is the place to go to see gorillas, hippos (the largest hippo-oriented national park in the world), volcanoes (see a couple posts back about a trip to a volcano in nearby Congo), jungle, elephants, and more. Not to mention local culture and art.

Typical art, typical smile.

Almost ready to call your Serenity agent, right? Maybe not a bad idea, but there’s this one lake you might want to stay away from. Lake Kivu.

Looks innocent, doesn't it?

This lake is dangerous. Here’s a quote from a limnologist (lake scientist)

Lake Kivu is a meromictic lake with a relatively shallow euphotic layer (~18m) usually smaller than its oxic mixolimnion (20-60 m), and with a weak thermal gradient in the mixolimnion.

There’s more where that came from, but what’s going on is that this lake has a lot of dissolved carbon dioxide and methane in it, and tons and tons of these gasses are trapped down at the bottom of the lake. Something might make all that gas escape, all at once. The valley would fill with unbreathable gas, and everybody would suffocate. Maybe in their sleep. You might have heard of another lake that experienced a limnic eruption, killing a couple thousand people. This lake is 2,000 times larger and the area is more densely populated. ‘Nuff said.

On the optimistic side, scientists are working at extracting the methane peacefully and converting it into electricity. It could supply power to the region for a century. I’d rather have that happen.

Have you ever been to Rwanda? We’d like to hear about it.

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Category: Adventure, Plug
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