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Venezuela's Lake Maracaibo Polluted By "Permanent Black Tide" Of Oil


Smelling like an oil refinery, the vast expanse of Lake Maracaibo has become polluted by its own reserves of crude as Venezuela's economic collapse has left wells and pipelines in ruin. This huge body of water, in the country's northwest, covers 13,200 square kilometers (5,000 square miles) and empties into the Caribbean, but it is covered by what locals call a "permanent black tide." It's a hazard not just to the lake's fauna and flora, but also to the livelihoods of the people who rely on its wildlife.