It could be a crime movie script. Gradually, unnoticed by the human eye, severe dryness begins. The lake begins to shrink and empty itself. And when the waters recede, the secrets that were buried appear: ships, boats, monuments. And yes, even dead bodies. This is not a fantasy. This is happening in Lake Mead in the western United States, and it is making the authorities nervous. Police, forensics, anthropologists. Everyone is confused.
Mead is the largest man-made lake in the United States. It is located on the Colorado River between the states of Nevada and Arizona. It has an area of - or was – 640 square kilometres. This is three times the size of Buenos Aires. It supplies 7 states and 40 million people with fresh water. But there’s another important fact: It’s only 25 miles from Las Vegas. Urban legends have always said that mafia problems ended at the bottom of Lake Mead.
Now, with the region facing unprecedented drought, water levels are dropping and what was previously hidden is revealed: Already 25 human bodies have been found at the bottom of the main river alone, and 3 more bodies near the dam in Nevada.
According to the coroner, the remains had been submerged for decades and had various causes of deathAnd many gunshot injuries. One of the bodies was found in a barrel, which led to suspicions that the mafia was behind the murders. According to the police, this could be the “tip of the iceberg” and if the water continues to recede, The number of bodies discovered could double.
Boats, chests and treasures
While authorities closed the area for investigation, Other areas of the lake remain open for tourism and recreation. A man + River YouTuber is wandering the area between rocks and mud and found the remains of a shipwreck now burning in the sun. A yacht – it would have sunk 30 or 40 years ago – is full of things: windows, dishes, even a phone. “We should be the first to find out,” said the excited YouTuber. Oddly enough, the boat still carried the mast and the American flag.
Another mystery revealed by the receding waters is an old Higgins landing craft From the forties, it was used in World War II. The Lake Mead National Park Service (NPS) believes that the ship was redundant for the war effort and was used in the Colorado River until it sank at its present location. The cause of the sinking of these marine relics is also unknown, which is why the authorities have already launched an investigation. Experts estimate that the ship was more than 50 meters deep and now half of its hull is in the open. This gives a sense of the gravity of the mead’s drowning.
Severe dehydration and water problems
Since 1930, the lake has served 7 states and millions of people. Today it is at an all-time low: just 27 percent of its capacity. The situation has become critical due to lack of rainfall, drought and population growth. While trying to find solutions through the planned water outage, The river basin’s neighbors are negotiating plans to drastically reduce water consumption.
“It is the responsibility of every sector in every state to ensure that water is used as efficiently as possible. To avoid the catastrophic collapse of the Colorado River system and a future fraught with uncertainty and conflict, water use in the watershed must be reduced, said Tania Trujillo, Under Secretary for Water and Science at the Department of the Interior.
The outlook is not encouraging. The federal government announced this week that the Colorado River will operate at “Rarity Level 2” starting January 2023, which means that at least three states (Arizona, Nevada and Mexico) need to reduce their consumption further. So, as an unintended side effect of climate change, Lake Mead is still waiting for some surprises at its bottom.