The Legend of Lake Tahoe’s Ancient, Floating Burial Ground

I grew up visiting Lake Tahoe and skiing in the surrounding mountains. I heard the crazy statistics of the lake’s impressive depths, and the tales of its mythical loch ness monster nicknamed “Tahoe Tessie”. But not until recently did I hear a story that sent shivers down my spine. This is the legend of the floating, ancient burial ground 1000 ft below the surface of Lake Tahoe.

Rumor has it that, in the mid-1970’s, the famous deep-sea explorer Jacques Cousteau joined forces with the US government to document the depths of Lake Tahoe. No one had ever attempted to explore below the surface before this point. It’s depths were an utter mystery.

Cousteau navigated his solo deep dive exploration into the lake and descended 1000 feet below the surface. When he reached this depth…the scene that he witnessed was unfathomable. When he emerged from the water his face was pale and his eyes were wide with fear. He said, “The world is not ready for the horrors that are down there.” 

Now, it is common knowledge that Lake Tahoe used to be home to the Washoe Native American tribe. It is also suspected that, in ancient burial ceremonies, the Washoes would send their deceased floating off into the lake.

So, the legend finishes with this frightening scene: As Cousteau descended into Lake Tahoe and reached 1000 feet below the surface, he entered a buoyant layer of perfectly preserved bodies in their historic clothing; a floating ancient burial ground of the Washoe’s departed.

An amazing story! What do you think of it? Have you heard any different versions? Comment in the section below. I want all the insight I can get on this!


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