Here's that strange, concrete cistern thingy, a huge, round vat tucked into the fold of a hill in the wilds of Bluffs Park. Until the fire last year, it was mostly hidden. Exposed now, it looks bigger, weirder and more baffling than ever.
So what is it? Silly me - looking for a straight answer, I've become straight man to a bunch of jokers.
KPCC's John Rabe gets a laugh (and makes a plug):
Everyone knows blacktop sucks up the heat and keeps it all night, making for higher average temps. So the city of Malibu has teamed with KPCC, KCRW, K-Jazz, and KUSC to collect all the public radio mugs given out during fundraisers, crush them, and then use them as paving material. The ceramic material, it turns out, is not only more durable than standard blacktop, but (when crushed) is mostly white, which reflects heat, rather than absorbing it.
This cistern is actually a self-collection site for the mugs. It's big so that people can just throw the mugs in as they drive by. We were going to publicize this during the next fund drive, but since you picked up on it early, we're going public now.
Composer (and former Malibu-ite) Alex Shaprio, goes all Close Encounters:
"Well, duh, it's a hot tub for visiting aliens! See right next to it? That's the landing pad where they park their space craft. You can't see it in the photo, but just out of view there's a gazebo with towels and a small bar for drinks (they're short aliens). The middle thingie is a custom bidet/shower deal that extra-gallactians travel great distances to experience. This is Malibu, after all, and everyone loves a nice jacuzzi and a pool-side cocktail."
And BchyLvr just may be telling the truth:
It's where Pepperdine students go to drink. (Rootbeer, of course.)