The Pitch Lake is the largest natural deposit of asphalt in the world, located at La Brea in southwest Trinidad, within the Siparia Regional Corporation. The lake covers about 40 ha and is reported to be 75 m deep. The Pitch Lake has fascinated explorers and scientists, as well as attracting tourists, since its discovery by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1595. Raleigh himself found immediate use for the asphalt to caulk his ship.
Exported asphalt from Pitch Lake was also used to pave the streets of some regions of New York City. Since its re-discovery, there have been numerous research investigations into the use and chemical composition of this material. Above all, there have been countless theories, postulations, and conclusions as to the size, source, and origin of the asphalt.