What’s causing Oregon’s Lost Lake to disappear into this strange hole?
Every winter, a lake in east Oregon completely disappears. A huge, mysterious hole sucks all of the lake waters inside of it and replaces the resourceful with a large meadow. So what causes this strange yearly event?
The area that the lake is located on is actually a volcanic landscape, and the hole is what is called a “lava tube.” The tubular, rocky structure likely leads downwards into a porous subsurface underground and channels the waters back into springs nearby.
Jude McHugh, a spokeswoman with the Willamette National Forest, told The Bulletin that there have been many attempts to plug the hole, but none have been successful. She says even if the plugging was successful, it would cause local flooding because the area around the lake has been developed with the phenomenon in mind.
“If anyone was ever successful at plugging it, which we’re not sure they could do, it would just result in the lake flooding, and the road,” McHugh explained. “It’s an important part of how the road was designed.”