Story Of The Pink Lake
Ever seen a pink lake? Wait a while, take a deep breath and let it out, yes it actually exists. Only a handful of you might be aware of the bizarre pink lake that looks like a milkshake due to the freak of nature. If looked upon it from a closer view, it resembles a swath of solid pink bubble-gum and the colour becomes more watery, translucent quality, but remains unmistakably pink. The lake gets its colour because of some natural phenomena and is a source of livelihood for the people living nearby it.
Fact: You can also swim across the pink lake.
A few lakes which are pink in colour are as follows: Lake Retba (Senegal), Hutt Lagoon (western coast), Pink lake (Australia), Salina de Torrevieja (Spain), Dusty Rose Lake (Canada), Masazir Lake (Azerbaijan).
Why is the lake pink?
The lake attains pink colour when high salinity combines with a green coloured salt-loving algae species known as “Dunaliella salina” and pink coloured bacteria “halobacteria.” Due to temperature fluctuations, changes in colours are regular. Lake Hillier is pink year-round. When the lake water reaches a salinity level higher than that of seawater, the temperature becomes extreme, and if adequate conditions are provided, the algae begin to accumulate the red pigment beta-carotene. The halobacteria grow at the bottom of the lake. Isn’t that surprising, even algae can look beautiful. Other reasons for the pink colour of the lake are:
- Red hydrophilic bacteria in salt crusts
- Dyes released from Dunaliella salina (a type of algae)
- A unique composition of surrounding rock (e.g. glacial rock)
- A trick of light
- High concentration of brine prawnAll the reasons mentioned above are a presumption, but there is no such scientific confirmation regarding the colour.
Due to the construction of a highway and a rail line, the flow of water into the lake altered and it’s salinity reduced, that is why now it appears faint pink.
Can you swim in the pink lake?
Despite the strange colour, Lake Hillier’s water is declared safe enough by scientists for swimming as the pink coloured bacteria named halobacteria doesn’t provide any damage to human body, but it reacts only with the salt in the lake. Many wading visitors collected the lake water in their jars and found that it stayed pink in their jars also.
Can you drink the pink water of the lake?
These lakes have a resemblance to the ‘strawberry-milk’ or ‘milkshake’. Due to which it looks good enough to drink, but are actually some of the saltiest bodies of water in the world. So, don’t dare drink it! The lake is as saline as the ‘ Dead Sea’.
Birds around pink lake
BirdLife International marked the lake as an Important Bird Area because it usually supports significant numbers of hooded plovers and sometimes over 1% of the world population of banded stilts. It has had many migrant and native birds. Populations of 12,000 of the banded stilt were recorded around the year 1997 – 2006. The people of hooded plovers ranges from 5 to 68 from the year 1995 – 2005.
Fun fact: The reason flamingos are pink is because they eat these pink creatures present in the lake. Usually, their feathers are white. However, they change colour after eating this stuff!
Activities around the Lake Hillier
You can do a considerable number of events ranging from fishing, swimming to diving.It consists of more than 100 islands and offers top class diving and snorkelling. The Kepa Karl is the place where the water lies down like a boomerang. There is plenty to see and do around the lake including horse riding, walking, cycling, fishing, scuba diving, whale-watching (May – October), windsurfing, kayaking and 4WD tours.
Mayan salt production
Here, fishing isn’t the only industry; salt is also a big business. It has been thousands of years when the ancient Maya used this area to produce highly valuable salt.
Salty water from the mangroves nearby floods onto hard flat salt plains, creating shallow lagoons. The water gets evaporated by the heat of the sun, leaving fresh sea salt behind.
Salt was vital to the Maya for both nutritional needs as well as food preservation. It was mined in the northern Yucatan, then shipped by canoe to other parts of the Mayan empire.
A magical pink lake is a great place to visit, enjoy and cherish your moments. So next time if you plan a holiday, make sure you add the pink lake to your list.
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