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Known tar pits
There are only a few known asphalt lakes worldwide:
- Tierra de Brea at La Brea, Trinidad and Tobago
- Lake Bermudez at Libertador, Estado Sucre, Venezuela
- La Brea Tar Pits Los Angeles, California, US
- McKittrick Tar Pits at McKittrick near Bakersfield, California, US
- Carpinteria Tar Pits at Carpinteria, Santa Barbara County, California, US
For other rich deposits, fossilized where they occurred, see Lagerstätten. Tar pits are the resting places of many fossils.
Animals are sometimes unable to escape from the asphalt when they fall in, making these pits excellent locations to excavate bones of prehistoric animals. The La Brea Tar Pits Museum is built around the tar pit and houses the fossilized remains of mammals and birds found within.
In computer science
Brooks in his seminal work The Mythical Man-Month (1968) has a chapter entitled "The tar pit", alluding to the tendency of software projects, once in trouble, never to escape from that trouble, any attempt to do so making it worse.
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