Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Vanishing Lake

In one of the most populated states in America there lurks a large stretch of land with almost no development and a very small population.  I am of course talking about the infamous Pine Barrens of new jersey.  Some say they are haunted, some that you cannot build on them and others love them.  I have learned there are many mysteries surrounding the barrens but in recent times i have discovered one of my own.  I intend for this blog to reach as many people as possible and hopefully someone that has some answers.

It all began a few years back while i was taking a gen-ed class that had us read a few "environmental" books.  One of them was The Pine Barrens  by John McPhee.  I loved the book and would highly recommend it as an easy informative and interesting read, but this blog is not about the book.  After reading the book i took a serious interest in the area and began doing some more research and studying maps of the area.  One of the first places i went was to google maps.  I studied the terrain, roads, towns and satellite images.  Soon i realized that there was a large lake right in the middle of the map that was not in the satalite images.  Almost a mile long, this is Lake Broyhill.

Since my  first discovery the lake has been removed from google maps (probably due to my questioning) but in most mapping programs it can still be seen.   Here in Bing maps.

Having found this lake on google, microsoft, garmin and other mapping software i decided to take a look at the USGS maps of the area.  I went to my school library (that has almost the entire US on USGS maps) and found the area.  NO LAKE!  The detailed terrain did not even look like a lake could have been there anytime recently.  There is no marsh, no streams and even elevation that would cause the water to run off.  So why would it be mapped that a lake exists here.

I then spent some time with google and found a forum dedicated to the NJ pines.  I became a member and asked a question about the lake.  I got nothing but more questions.  I sent a question about it to google maps, but received no response, and a year later it was removed from the map.

Some speculate that it was added by cartographers as a signature of who made the map.  They used to do this with small things like spelling differences but nothing this large has ever been documented.  Another somewhat weird explanation might be that it was a planned lake.  Because of the location and emptiness of the pine barrens there have been a number of proposed projects for the area including a supersonic airport and another Disney Land/world/barrens.  I came across a rumor that Disney was looking at the area to put a new resort and perhaps the lake was to be constructed.  Somehow it ended up on the maps.  None of theses explanations however have any backing and no one seems to have the answers.  The pines hold many mysteries but i would like to solve this one.

You can now use the birds eye view to scan the area.  But all you will see is trees.

If you have any information on this mystery, please post a comment or contact me.

No comments:

Post a Comment