Mono Lake, California - One of the World's Great Wonders
The Loneliest Place on Earth
In Mono Basin National Forest, in a remote area east of the Sierra Nevada sits one of the most unusual lakes in California. In fact, many people call it one of the wonders of the world—Mono Lake. Mark Twain called it "the loneliest place on Earth."
Because of its high salt content (it's three times saltier than the ocean) Mono Lake supports little life. Even the brine shrimp that thrived in Mono after the fish ceased to live find it difficult to survive there now. But there are flies.
Lake of the Flies
The Shoshone Indians, who once inhabited its shores, named the lake "Mono", meaning "brine flies". Fly larvae float upon the water, as do chunks of volcanic rock. And the small islands that dot the lake, gasping steam, only add to its surreal appearance, as do the white tufta forests that jut out of its receding waters.
If you want to see this unique natural wonder, you'd better take your lake vacation soon. Mono has no feeder streams and no outflows. Although it's at least 700,000 years old, like the Dead Sea, someday it will be no more. Due to evaporation, Mono Lake is slowly disappearing. Today, it's only about 60 square miles.