SAN ANGELO, Texas (KXAN) - A West Texas lake has completely dried up except for a small pool of water, which is so red it looks like blood.
The O.C. Fisher Reservoir just northwest of San Angelo has been a popular place to swim, boat, fish and camp for the last 50 years, but it's not right now. The entire lake bed is visible and so dry that when you walk on it, the ground beneath your feet crunches.
"I've been out here when there was water and now there's nothing. We're definitely going through a drought," said Lynda Jackson.
Jackson lives in San Angelo, but it was her first trip back to the lake in two years. She wanted to see what she's been hearing on local and national television for herself.
"There's a lot of fish that we've seen on television that have died, of course, with no water. That's what you can expect," she said.
More surprising than the dry lake is the small pool of water that has formed near where the water is normally released. The water is stagnant and is so dark red it looks like blood.
"This has been one of the most surprising things so far. It's kind of a shock once you walk up on it and it kind of hits you in the face," said Earl Nottingham with Texas Parks and Wildlife .
"I'm here today to photograph it for my department. We're documenting the drought and the drought is very strong in this area," he said. "I've never seen anything like it. I've seen several different types of algae, but not this red algae, if that's what it is."
Scientists do believe it's a specific kind of bacteria called Chromatiaceae , which thrive in oxygen-deprived waters. All the fish that used to live in the water are dead. Their carcasses are strung around the pool.
"It is sad to see, especially all the fish that have died, but it will come back," Nottingham said.
But, some believe it's a sign from above.
"It's in the Bible that the water is going to turn blood red so, you never know when he's [Jesus is] going to come," said Jennifer Guevara.
Guevara and her sister Jill came out Wednesday evening to see it for themselves.
"It's all red. Blood," she said.
Around the country, the lake has been pictured in dozens of articles and websites.
Some preachers point out that it's a sign from God signaling the end of days. Others believe it's a temporary effect of the drought and that more rain will end the mystery.
"It is sad to see it, but it's nature and it happens. It will happen again. Rains will come back, and it will fill up again," Nottingham said.
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