Have You Seen These Bubblegum-Colored Lakes?

posted: 07/13/15
by: Danny Clemens
Strange colored Water at Pink Lake, Western Australia

Many a tropical paradise are known for their white sand and crystal clear water, but could you imagine swimming in a lake of bubblegum pink water?

There are various lakes throughout the world that naturally sport a signature blush hue, but Australia's Lake Hillier and Senegal's Lac Retba are perhaps the two most notable.

Scientists believe that Dunaliella salina, a pigment-producing species of algae, is responsible for the pink hue. Aptly named, D. salina thrives in high-salt environments, australia.com reports. Each lake's signature strawberry hue is more visible during the dry season, when salt in the water is more highly concentrated, spurring the algae into overdrive.

Lac Retba in Senegal

"Lakes like Retba and the Dead Sea, which have high salt concentrations, were once thought to be incompatible with life - hence the names. But they are very much alive," Bath University's Michael Danson told the Daily Mail in a 2012 interview.

Containing up to 40% salt, Lac Retba is home to a thriving mining industry. According to the BBC, more than 3,000 miners descend upon the lake each year to harvest the valuable salt, which is then exported throughout the region.

Learn more about microorganisms:

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Microbial History

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