From overlook at Lake Berkeley in 1991
A toxic lake has formed in the large pit of the old copper
mine near Butte, Montana. The mine opened in 1955 and ceased production
by 1982. Water has collected in the old pit to form "pollution soup."
Recipe for this soup calls for sulfur deposits to be mixed with water.
This creates a little sulfuric acid for tartness. Then spice it up
with copper, cadmium and arsenic for variety. Next add some aluminum,
iron, manganese and zinc. Martha Stewart would be ashamed, but one
must ask, where do copper kettles in the kitchen come from?
Even this foul lake may have a silver lining. Strange
algaes are being discovered in the water with metabolisms that are resistant,
or even thrive, on heavy metals. Out of this strange biology may
come drugs and cures for some human ailments. The lake is being used
for research and it was featured in a December 2000 issue of Discover Magazine.
Photos by region, by subject,
My first bike tour across USA