One of nature's mysteries ...

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Subject: One of nature's mysteries ...
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2010 18:36:49 +1000

On a map of the Lightning Ridge area, you will see a few kms away on  the other side of the highway that an extensive and unlikely body of water is indicated, labelled ‘Coocoran Lake’.  On my previous visits this was merely a vast field of wheat and chickpeas.  When I was there in September 2009 checking on the bird life, even after some recent rain vehicles rumbled across the ‘lake’ on the dusty track, and the odd emu or kangaroo wandered dry-foot across its waterless expanse (below)

Locals seriously believed that the ‘lake’ might never fill again.  To the north, along the Qld/NSW border, lay the three then-dry distributaries of the water-plundered Balonne:  the Bokhara, the Culgoa and the Narran.  Of those, the Narran received least flow.  For Coocoran to fill, the Narran would need to overflow and fill Angledool Lake, which in turn would need to overflow and supply Weetalibah Creek, the source for Coocoran Lake.      


then lake.JPG


However, surprisingly, that is exactly what has happened and the centre of the lake is now beneath 3 or more metres of water.   The truly remarkable thing is that the boats have returned (below).  But how on earth do they know that there is water in the lake?  Do they see the distant thunder-clouds far to the north?   Do they sense a change in the air as the humidity increases?  Do they see other boats circling high overhead?  Perhaps they are responding to some instinct  that scientists do not understand, even now.     


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