For many parts of the world, 2015 has left many communities in a state of drought because of scarce rainfall. Lack of precipitation has resulted in diminishing reservoirs, water restrictions, wildlife rescue efforts, wildfires, crop losses and more. However, a few surprises are surfacing in lakes, streams and reservoirs as water levels decrease.
Recently, the water level in the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir in Mexico dropped to 82 feet, revealing a church that was flooded after construction of a dam more than 40 years ago. The Temple of Santiago is now about halfway visible in the watershed and people are flocking to the site. This is the second time in recent years the church has been visible due to the drought conditions. In 2002, the water level dropped far enough people could actually walk inside.
“The people celebrated. They came to eat, to hang out, to do business. I sold them fried fish,” says a fisherman who is now offering Temple of Santiago boat tours, according to USA Today.
The Temple of Santiago isn’t the only piece of history to resurface. In June 2015, the water level in Nevada’s Lake Mead provided tourists a view of the St. Thomas ghost town, which was submerged during the building of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s. In another part of the lake, according to Newser, the wreckage of a B-29 bomber that crashed in 1948 surfaced.
The drought conditions in California have many lakes and reservoirs at all-time record lows. Last year, in the Castaic Lake near Los Angeles, a federal agent’s badge and handgun were discovered after 22 years, according to Mashable. Several northern California reservoirs have exposed the foundations of gold-mining towns such as Mormon Island near Sacramento. Additionally, the wreckage from a 1965 plane crash in Folsom Lake is visible.
So while we hope for rain in the drought-stricken parts of the world, we can, for now, appreciate the surprises that are being revealed.