Pyramid Lake Mysteries …
Nevada abounds with unexplained mysterious tales,
Legends born of bravery, sorrows and tragedies
Leaving impressions from the past upon the land,
A past rich in historical firsts and haunting memories.
A very old legend at Pyramid Lake tells of
The Water Babies who have haunted the lake
For centuries, they were deformed or premature
Babies thrown into the lake right after birth,
To drown, for they were not wanted by the
Paiute parents or the tribe.
Spirits of the babies are angry and have been
Heard crying or laughing.
It is an eerie phenomenon.
Each spring at least one fisherman has fallen
Into the lake and the bodies never found.
Some say the bodies sink to the bottom
In the very deep water and can’t be retrieved,
But most believe the Water Babies ate them.
Another eerie phenomenon is bodies
Of the people who have vanished
Have been found in Lake Tahoe,
Which is over 61 miles away.
Lake Tahoe’s outlet is the Truckee River,
Which flows down the mountain
And feeds Pyramid Lake,
Which has no outlet.
So, how do the bodies get up to Lake Tahoe?
One theory is that there are mysterious
Underground tunnels and rivers
That connect the two lakes,
And the bodies are drawn into those
Subterranean tunnels and deposited
In Lake Tahoe. Creepy, indeed.
One treacherous reason people may drown,
Is that close along the shore the water is clear,
You can see the bottom a few feet down,
So, it looks safe to wade in, yet
Very near is a sheer drop of 350 feet,
So beware when entering the water.
Pyramid Lake is nearly 900 feet deep
And is the last remnant of the ancient
Lake Lahontan from the Pleistocene era that lasted
From 2.588 million years to 11,700 years ago.
Since Pyramid Lake was the deepest part
Of that prehistoric lake that once covered
Most of Nevada and extended into
Northeastern California and southern Oregon,
There is no telling what is embedded
In the sediments deep down.
There are legends of strange creatures
From the depths of the ancient waters.
One such creature was a mermaid
That a Paiute man fell in love with.
He took her back to his village to marry her.
The tribe told him to take the ugly creature
Back to the deep waters and get rid of her.
The mermaid was so angry for being
Banished that she cursed the tribe.
The curse lasted through the Paiute Wars
Of the 1860s and still lingers today
With some tribal members who believe
The wars and all bad luck is from
The curse of the angry mermaid.
Lingering from those tragic wars
Are spirits of a Calvary troop,
That can sometimes be seen
Riding over a hill heading
Into battle with the Paiute.
Pyramid Lake is an enthralling place
Of beauty and dark mysteries.
I never get over the shock,
After driving through the barren desert,
And coming to a large viewpoint area
Where we park, and see below us
The pristine beauty of the blue water
Stretched out in smooth stillness like a mirror.
This is the usual appearance of the lake
And it is astounding. Yet there are times
When suddenly the water begins to move
With the turbulence of rough waves,
Like an ocean, then just as suddenly
Returns to that silent and still image.
Pyramid Lake is one of the great
Mysteries of the state of Nevada.
© 2017 Phyllis Doyle Burns