Due to increasing desertification in the China’s Northwestern Gansu province, this beautiful desert oasis is at the threat of disappearing. This oasis, which is believed to have existed for over 2,000 years, is kept alive by Crescent Lake (月牙泉, yuèyáquán), a fresh water spring in the shape of a half moon. The lake’s remarkable preservation in the middle of the Gobi desert can be attributed to its low altitude, which prevents excess sand from the surrounding dunes from falling on it.
Crescent Lake is only 6km south of the city of Dunhuang, originally a center for trade between China and the West on the Silk Road. It can only be reached by camel back and is a popular destination for tourists.
Since the water level in the lake dropped more than 25 feet in three decades, the government has now intervened, re-filling it yearly since 2006, according to the Independent.
[Photos via Twisted Sifter]