Legend of the bottomless lake

Contacts: +40 252 707 210 / +40 252 707 211; primariamalovat@yahoo.com (Malovăț Town Hall)

At 13 km from Drobeta Turnu Severin, in the village of Negrești in the Maledăț commune, there is an enigmatic lake, which is said to maintain its level regardless of the season. Known as the “Lake without bottom” or “Balta lui Oproiu” (Oproiu’s pool”, the body of water is the main subject of several local legends and mysteries.

The few inhabitants of the village say that the lake is known since during the Second World War. Then it would be the first time that the inhabitants noticed that its level neither decreased nor increased; moreover, since then, the lake has never dried. Another strange fact about the lake was that its level would not have even decreased when water was drawn from it with high power pumps, to serve the mining quarry activities near the village! For this reason, the locals called it “the bottomless lake”, although, officially, it never appeared on any map of Mehedinți county.

A possible explanation offered by a villager would be that the bottom of the lake is below the level of the Danube, which is why it maintains its level constantly and never dries. However, the rest of the inhabitants of the village have embraced supernatural explanations or tend to believe more in the stories and legends heard from their ancestors.

Thus, because, at one point, the waters of the lake began to boil, a local legend was born that says that the Oproiu’s Pool would communicate with the center of the earth.

Another story talks about a girl who was molested right on the bank of the Oproiu’s Pool. She would have cursed these places and, from then on, the whole area would be haunted by evil spirits.

Among the locals there is also the belief that the lake would hide in its waters a mysterious treasure that belonged to some inhabitants of the village from ancient times. From the fear of the landowners and the robbers, they would have collected their money and valuables in boxes they threw into the lake. It is said that they would never have been able to recover them because of the depth of the bottomless lake, but also because all the curious who entered the lake to see how deep they were taken out of the currents. A few years ago, a diving team came to test the depth of the lake, but neither was their attempt successful. They claimed that they were likely to break their cables due to strong currents, but also that when they reached about 90 meters deep, they felt that their suits were melting.

The stories about the bottomless lake continue with stories from World War II, when, it is said, the dead were thrown directly into the water. According to legend, the villagers would have dug a road under the lake to distract the attention of German troops, but once they entered this road, the German tanks would never have come to the surface.

The enigmatic air of the Oproiu’s Pool is also amplified by the reluctance of the locals to approach it, invoking the fact that the area would be cursed, full of snakes and moving sands.



• Alexandra Georgescu, “Legend of the bottomless lake in Mehedinți. How the villagers from different stories combined an episode worthy of “X Files”, 10 July 2016, https://adevarul.ro/locale/turnu-severin/legenda-lacului-fund-mehedinti-imbinat-satenii-diverse-povesti-episod-demn-dosarele-x-1_5782319e5ab6550cb8b9bece/index.html

• “The bottomless lake”,  https://promehedinti.ro/lacul-fara-fund/

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