Pitch Lake


Pitch Lake contains a natural deposit of asphalt. Asphalt is a form of resin, a mixture of heavy oil left behind after the evaporation of the lighter components. It is black and viscous with a semisolid surface.

This substance is known by another name ‘tar’. This lake is located in the village of La Brea, Trinidad and Tobago. It is the largest of such lakes covering an area of around 100 acres and it holds more than ten million tons of the resin.


Quick Facts: –

  • Pitch Lake was formed thousands of years ago by the process of subduction.
  • It was created when the Caribbean tectonic plate slipped under another.
  • Fault lines were opened because of this and it allowed oil deposits from deep underground to rise to the surface.
  • At its deepest point, this lake’s depth can be measured at 250 feet.
  • As a popular tourist destination, this lake draws approximately 20,000 visitors annually.
  • It was re-discovered in 1595 by British explorer Walter Raleigh during his expedition of the region.
  • Since then significant research and investigation has been conducted on the chemical composition of the substance.
  • Although the lake appears passive the asphalt keeps moving with a natural stirring action.
  • The extraction of asphalt from this lake started in 1867 and continues today by a state-owned company.
  • Since then approximately ten million tons of the substance has been extracted.