Not all lakes are the setting for swimming, water sports, and summer vacations. Some are very inhospitable, inaccessible, and severely toxic. This list of nine of the strangest lakes from around the world shows that each continent has at least one lake that you may want to avoid. It also illustrates how events from outer space, as well as those that occur miles below the ground, can influence the surface of the planet. Here are nine of the world’s strangest lakes.
9. Lake Hillier, Middle Island, Western Australia
Lake Hillier is on the largest island of the Recherche Archipelago off the southern coast of Western Australia. This salt lake is distinguished for its bright pink color that derives from Dunaliella salina, a micro-algae that is able to survive the high salt content of the water. The lake measures approximately 2,000 feet by 820 feet and is surrounded by paperwood and eucalyptus trees. It is safe for humans to swim in, though the lake is difficult to access, as visitors often are only able to do so via air travel.
8. Laguna Colorado, Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve, Bolivia
The surreal-looking Laguna Colorado lies on the altiplano in the Bolivian Andes, not too far from where Salvador Dalí once trekked seeking inspiration. One can only imagine the effect this lake, with its burgundy-wine colored water, had on the famous artist. The color of the water is not due to any dye or chemicals, but to plankton, red algae, and other microorganisms, all of which constitute a food supply for birds such as the puna flamingo. The bird calls this 23-square-mile lake at 14,000 feet above sea level its home.
7. Boiling Lake, Commonwealth of Dominica
Located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Boiling Lake is the second largest hot water lake on the planet. It is actually a flooded fumarole, or opening in the Earth’s crust, that is filled with bubbling grayish-blue water. The lake is usually surrounded by a cloud of vapor and is always at a rolling boil, so no one has been able to measure its temperature. Along the lake’s edge, it measures between 180 and 197 degrees Fahrenheit. The water level fluctuates dramatically due to volcanic eruptions and changes in the gas composition of the magma below.
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