A Giant Hole Sucks Oregon’s “Disappearing Lake” Dry Every Year

What good is a lake with a hole in it? Two holes at the bottom of Oregon’s Lost Lake suck the water dry every summer. It’s not a manufacturing defect—it’s leftovers of ancient volcanic activity.

Lava tube in Lost Lake.

There’s A Hole In Your Bucket

Oregon’s Lost Lake is a stunning natural sight, if not extremely perplexing. Every summer, this body of water drains itself, only to refill once the dry season is over. The water gets sucked down a hole in science fiction-like fashion, earning Lost Lake the nickname “disappearing lake.” Though the water rushing down the natural hole looks like the opening of a portal to another dimension, it has an explanation: lava tubes.

A lava tube is a naturally formed conduit that transports lava. Once lava flow is ceased, the lava tube basically becomes a hollow channel. Lost Lake has two small lava tubes that are continuously sucking down the lake’s water. During the wet season, the lake is filled with more rain and snow than the lava tubes can suck down. During the summer, the tubes drain the lake completely. It’s unknown what happens to the water slurped down by these lava tubes, but scientists believe it eventually becomes groundwater.

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