The Gulf of Mexico harbors the Jacuzzi of Despair, a 3,300-foot underwater lake that is so salty, it kills every living thing that has the misfortune of falling into it. The lake was discovered by the E/V Nautilus, a San Pedro research ship last year and now videos of the Hercules probe poking around the salt and methane-filled waters are circulating the internet.
The Jacuzzi of Despair Lives Up to Its Name
The video features eerie images of the underwater lake and all the marine lifeforms that fell victims to the unforgiving atmosphere.
One of the scientists involved in the research can be heard saying that either large organisms accidentally end up in the toxic environment, or they intentionally go there to die.
The strange underwater formation is a gateway to another world where geology and biology have different laws. Due to the high concentrations of methane and sodium, 99 percent of living organisms cannot survive there.
How Was the Jacuzzi of Despair Formed?
The Gulf of Mexico used to be wider and shallower, the water evaporating over time. In time, salt started to accumulate. With the salt layers becoming heavier, the deposits began to crack and shift their position, thus allowing gas and oil to escape.
All of these processes lead to the formation of an incredibly salty brine that is so dense that it does not even mix with seawater. Due to the difference in consistency, the brine gathers itself in underwater lakes and deadly waterfalls that trap all sea life that wanders around.
The pool, which can be compared to a crater due to its sharp, round edges, rises over 12 feet above the floor of the ocean. The outer walls are lined with thousands of mussels that can survive the saltiness and the methane due to their symbiotic relation with a type of bacteria that thrives in the harsh conditions.
The researchers thought of a Jacuzzi when naming the underwater lake because the deeper the Hercules probe went, the warmer the environment became.
Last year’s findings were published in the Oceanography magazine.
What do you think about the name the scientists chose for the underwater lake? Do you think it sounds too morbid or is it justified?
Image source: YouTube