Located in the Republic of South Africa’s northeastern region lies Lake Fundudzi, a beautiful yet enigmatic and menacing body of water. The locals regarded the lake as holy and narrated stories about it.
There was no settlement along the Fundudzi River, no fishing, and no replenishment of water supplies from this lake, despite Africa’s severe lack of fresh water.
Lake Fundudzi’s water has been said to be cursed, and anybody who touches or even consumes it would soon die, according to local folklore. People also presented offerings to the mythological creature Fundudzi in order to appease him.
Fundudzi became known to the general public in the early 20th century, when chrome ore reserves were discovered in the area of the lake. The lake was ultimately surveyed when European expeditions started to visit this region.
Despite the residents’ tales of an evil lake and a monster lurking under its surface, scientists were unable to find anything supernatural throughout their explorations.
After hearing a rumor about a lake’s peculiar water, Professor Henry Burnside and his assistant Thacker set out in 1955 to investigate the matter. In order to study the samples, scientists gathered water in a variety of containers made of glass, porcelain, and plastic and traveled for many kilometers. To get the latest stories, install our app here.
In the morning, all of the containers had been emptied, making it impossible to do the analysis. So, the researchers made the decision to go back and collect more samples. To test the water, Burnside put his finger in and took a sip: the flavor was acrid and foul.
The containers were monitored by scientists all day long, but no changes were seen, and by morning, they were back to being empty. Initially, Burnside had planned on going back to the lake to collect water samples, but his health suddenly deteriorated, and he was hospitalized; a week later, he died of intestinal irritation.
Lake Fundudzi’s strange events have a scientific explanation despite the appearance of evidence of ominous folklore. The abnormalities are really caused by chromium ore deposits.
One drop of chromium salts killed Professor Burnside because the lake’s chromium content was so high.
The high chromium level also explains the vanishing water phenomena. Chromium particles in water crystallize at temperatures below 19 degrees Celsius, therefore the water “disappeared” at night when it was colder. In reality, the liquid in the jar does not evaporate, but rather solidifies and spreads out over the vessel’s bottom and walls.
To be honest, some of Fundudzi’s mysteries remain unsolved, such as why the deadly lake is home to so many crocodiles. There are no fish in the lake, and no other creatures go there to drink, so no one knows what these reptiles consume. To get the latest stories, install our app here.