When Lakes Explode


Danielle Andrew

Editorial Intern

clockJan 5 2015, 19:45 UTC
461 When Lakes Explode

On August 21st 1986, a giant gas cloud exploded from Cameroons Lake Nyos, containing 80 million cubic metres of carbon dioxide and creating a giant 25 metre wave. The gas cloud that escaped rapidly spread across the land, effectively wiping out everything within a 25 KM radius, including over 1700 people.

The unfortunate locals and their animals were literally suffocated to death by the carbon dioxide.


Scientists were initially baffled by the occurrence, which had only happened once previously at a nearby lake, also with fatalities.

So what did cause these lakes’ to start blowing up and wiping out the local inhabitants, and could it happen again?



  • tag
  • volcano,

  • gas cloud,

  • lake,

  • lake nyos,

  • wave