The earliest and largest man-made structure that can be recognized from space. One of two astounding lakes engineered by Angkor's master builders. Popularly thought to be reservoirs for a gigantic irrigation system, no evidence of such a system has been found despite extensive archeological surveys. Pre-Angkor temples, abandoned early on by the Khmer and now engulfed by the gigantic walls of the West Baray, suggest that the lake's design was meant to keep out floods from the nearby Tonle Sap. The twin Baray's were very likely sacred models of the celestial Sea of Milk from which life itself was churned by the union of gods and demons, a scene famously depicted in Angkor Wat's stone galleries. In the very center of the lake is a small island with temple ruins. Here, a small fragment of a once-colossal bronze statue of Vishnu lying on the cosmic ocean, now in the National Museum, was uncovered.