Pitch Lake is s.w. at La Brea. One of three natural asphalt lakes in the world, the tar pit covers 100 acres (40 hectares). About 165,000 tons of asphalt are excavated yearly. Its hard surface will bear foot traffic—with caution. In some places it is too soft to walk; a professional guide is recommended on all outings on the lake. Local legend attributes the origin of this lake to the Great Spirit, anguished by the Chayma Indians' sacrifice of the sacred hummingbird. In retribution, the Great Spirit caused the earth to swallow up the village, leaving the lake as a reminder.