Advertisement

natureNaturenatureclimate

Third Human Body Found At Lake Mead As Water Levels Plummet

Dead bodies emerging from shrinking lakes have finally got mob bosses worried about climate change.

author

Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockJul 26 2022, 16:13 UTC
share3.9kShares
Due to warming temperatures and dry weather linked to climate change, the waters of Lake Mead have been dropping for several decades
Due to warming temperatures and dry weather linked to climate change, the waters of Lake Mead have been dropping for several decades. Image credit: trekandshoot/Shutterstock.com

Yet another body has been discovered near the parched waters of Nevada's Lake Mead, bringing the total number of bodies discovered here since May to three.

The National Park Service said in a recent announcement that the remains were found at Swim Beach in Lake Mead at approximately 4:30 pm local time on Monday, July 25.

Advertisement

The Clark County Medical Examiner has been contacted to determine the cause of death and authorities say “the investigation is ongoing,” but few other details have been released.

The first set of human remains was recovered on May 1 after police received reports of a body in a barrel that was stuck in the now visible mud of the lake. An investigation revealed that the person was killed by a gunshot wound. Based on their clothing and shoes, they suspect the victim was killed in the mid-1970s or early '80s, but their identity remains uncertain.

The mystery deepened on May 7 when a second body was found. Two sisters were out paddleboarding on the lake when they noticed human bones on a newly created sandbar at Calville Bay within Lake Mead's recreation area. 

Advertisement

Lake Mead, found just east of Las Vegas, is the largest reservoir in the US by water capacity.

Given the connection between organized crime and the Las Vegas strip, there was some speculation the remains may have belonged to people who crossed the mob. The body in the barrel was said to be particularly reminiscent of the techniques used by the mob, although this is yet to be proven. 

One lawyer formerly linked to the mob in Vegas even said that some of his clients had expressed an interest in “climate control” after realizing that drops in water levels of lakes and reservoirs could reveal the bodies of old enemies who were now sleep with the fishes. 

NASA satellite image shows the shrinking waters of Lake Mead in 2000 compared to 2021 and 2022.
NASA satellite image shows the shrinking waters of Lake Mead in 2000 compared to 2021 and 2022. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory


The southwest US is currently experiencing the worst “megadrought” in 1,200 years and this year has been particularly baking. Due to warming temperatures and dry weather linked to the climate crisis, the waters of Lake Mead have been dropping for several decades, reportedly leaving the reservoir just 38 percent full by late April 2021. 

The waters have been further depleted this year, revealing the long-forgotten secrets that lie along the muddy lakebed. The Las Vegas police said in May that the area where the first body was found was covered in dozens of feet of water just decades ago. 

Earlier this month, NASA's Earth Observatory released satellite images that show how water levels in Lake Mead are currently at their lowest since April 1937. 

Advertisement

The image from July 2000 shows a full lake a deep shade of blue, while images from 2021 and 2022 show the lake becoming thinner and lighter in color, indicating the water is less deep. The top of the recent satellite images also show light-colored fringes along the shorelines, which NASA says are mineralized areas where the water once stood, known as “bathtub lines.”

On top of stressing out Vegas mob bosses, the decimation of Lake Mead is a worrying "canary in the coal mine" for the rest of the planet's climate plight.


natureNaturenatureclimate
  • tag
  • climate change,

  • climate

ABOUT THE AUTHOR