Some of the World’s Biggest Lakes Are Drying Up
We were driving on the lake bottom, yet we were more than 12,000 feet above sea level. The spring air was lip-chapping dry. Many of the fishing villages that have relied on Lake Poopó for thousands of years have emptied too, and we drove past clusters of abandoned adobe homes.
Dust devils danced around them, spinning in warm winds. In the distance we spotted several small aluminum boats that seemed to be floating on water. As we drove closer, the mirage receded, and we found the boats sitting abandoned in the silt.
I stepped out of the vehicle. My shoes cracked the salty crust that had formed jagged lumps, like ice cream in a freezer that has melted and recrystallized.