The Tides, They Are A-Changin’

Water is a big deal.

Especially when we move it hither and thither.  Diverting and damming, all the while damning some other ecosystem.

Recently, we’ve seen drought reveal previously sunken realms.  Tips of towns revealed under man-made reservoirs.

A church was revealed in Venezuela that had been underwater since the building of a hydroelectric dam.

Venezuelan church reappears!

Venezuelan church reappears!















The Quabbin Reservoir, built in the 1930s in central Massachusetts, forced the removal of over 2500 people, but created a whole new wildlife zone.  Smith Mountain Lake is another man-made reservoir (also starred as Lake Winnipesaukee in the film What About Bob?).  Located in Virginia, the creation of the reservoir was the result of flooding the Roanoke and Blackwater Rivers and another town under water.

The Salamonie Reservoir, built in Huntington, Indiana in 1967, lowered enough during this past summer to reveal part of one of the four communities it submerged.

 in addition to the four towns at the bottom of the reservoir, there used to be cemeteries in the area, too. All the graves were moved elsewhere, [Wayne Lev, assistant manager at the reservoir] said, but said some unmarked graves were washed away and are now being discovered in strange places.

“Usually bones are found by fishermen who are fishing along the shore, and they’ll look down and they’ll see some bones,” Ley said.

Poltergeist IV: Reservoir Drip?

There is surely a horror story to be told around Villa Epecuen, Argentina.  A tourist village that was submerged underwater when sustained rainfall swelled Lago Epecuen until a dam burst in 1985.  The waters receded in 2009, giving people a chance to see the eerie town once again.  Check out the striking images in The Atlantic and those taken by Federico Peretti in this travel article.

And then there’s the Aral Sea.  Do you remember the Aral Sea?  Did you ever know about it?  I have always been entranced by the region.  I still am, but for startlingly different reasons then I was long ago.

The Aral Sea was once the fourth largest in the world.  It isn’t much of anything now, as this piece at details.  The tributary waters were diverted to transform a desert into crops.  It is particularly disturbing that much of the water is wasted due to poorly built canals.

A desert bloomed and a sea was doomed.

Aral Sea 2000-2009

I took the graphics (as seen at earthobservatory) from 2000 through 2009 and animated them to give you a look at what happened.  The water diversion project began in the 1960s (the black outline in the graphic is the 1960 shoreline).  There was a dam built in 2005 in an effort to save something of the sea and resulting in some rebound in 2005-6.  Nevertheless, a drastic change in the geography has occurred.


I suppose they didn’t find any sea-cryptids hiding in the Aral Sea.  On the other hand, the Russians may have launched the Aral Sea Monster into space, where it is currently manning a Russian base on the dark side of the moon.

The sea does sort of look like a disappearing footprint.  Think about that.



About I.M. Pangs

digital verbal smog creator
This entry was posted in Science, Universal Absurdity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Tides, They Are A-Changin’

  1. I had wondered where the Aral Sea Monster had got to. It’s a relief that to know he is gainfully employed at least.

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