Pretty Pink Lakes Across the Globe [54 PICS]

March 24th, 2015 Permalink

We are more than ready for Spring, which made us think of pink spring colors, which led to the phenomenon of pink lakes. It’s not a Photoshop trick, but a phenomenon; the water is actually pink. In fact there are several pink lakes scattered across the globe, but they are comparatively rare. While it may depend upon where you live, most of us don’t see lakes filled with pink water on a daily basis. If that’s true for you, then here you go. [54 Photos, 1 Video)

Sunset on salty Pink Lake

There are several pretty pink lakes scattered across the globe. The reason for the color, usually algae, may seem less romantic. While it may depend upon where you live, most of us don’t see lakes filled with pink water on a daily basis. Photo #1 by hqwallbase

Wingsuit pilot Chuck Berry flies over Lake Hillier

Even if you do live nearby a pink lake, I bet you don’t see this every day. Wingsuit pilot Chuck Berry flies over Lake Hillier in Western Australia. He was the first person to fly over the lake. Red Bull explained, “Free falling in a wingsuit from a helicopter hovering above, Chuck soared across the beautiful pink Lake Hillier, located on the remote Middle Island of the Recherche Archipelago.” Berry later exclaimed, “The lake is unique and absolutely mesmerizing. I feel incredibly privileged to have been blessed with this once in a lifetime opportunity.” Photo #2 by Red Bull

Here’s a clip of Berry’s wingsuit flight over Lake Hillier. Video #1 by Red Bull



Lake Hillier, bright pink lake of Pepto-Bismol

Lake Hillier, bright pink lake of Pepto-Bismol. It’s about 2,000 ft (600 meters) in length by about 820 ft (250 m) in width and it’s best viewed from above via a helicopter. Cruises visit the lake for folks who want to also enjoy the surrounding forest. Wikipedia added, “The most notable feature of the lake is its pink color. The vibrant color is permanent, and does not alter when the water is taken in a container….The only living organism in Lake Hillier is Dunaliella salina, the microorganism that causes the salt content in the lake to create a red dye, hence the colour. Another hypothesis is that the pink color is due to red halophilic bacteria in the salt crusts. Despite the unusual hue, the lake exhibits no known adverse effects upon humans. From above, the lake appears a solid bubble gum pink, but from the shoreline it appears more of a clear pink hue. The shoreline is also covered in salt crust deposits.” Photo #3 by Gallery Hip

Lake Hillier, Middle Island, Australia

Lake Hillier, Middle Island, Australia. Hubpages explained, “All of the pink lakes around the globe have a common denominator. An extremely high salt content is present in all of the lakes. The extremely salty water allows for three different biological entities that turn the water pink: 1) An algae called Dunaliella salina. 2) A bacteria called Salinobacter ruber. 3) Halophilic archaea.” Photo #4 by Gallery Hip

Lake Hillier Pink Lake with rainbow in Australia

With a rainbow, Lake Hillier seems like a magical place out of a fantasy novel. Photo #5 by Gallery Hip

Laguna Rosa, Torrevieja, Spain

Laguna Rosa, pink lake Salina de Torrevieja in Alicante, Spain. “The strange pink-purple color of the Torrevieja lagoon is caused by pigments of the Halobacterium bacteria which lives in extreme salty environments.” Spain-holiday added, “This is also found in the Dead Sea and the Great Salt Lake. The colour is also caused by an alga called Dunadiella Salina, which is responsible for the bright red colour of the lake seen at certain times of the year. The Artemia Salina brine shrimp, which lives in the lake, is also red because it feeds on the bacteria. You will also see the flamingos turn a lovely shade of pink because they eat the shrimps. The salt is produced from the south-east corner of the pink lagoon.” Photo #6 by imgkid

Pink Salt Lake, Torrevieja, Spain

This is the same pink salt lake in Spain as above, but it is from way above as this shot was captured by NASA’s Expedition 5. Photo #7 by NASA

Pink Lake in Spain Laguna Rosa

Mining mountains of Torrevieja salt is commercialized with salt production guaranteed until at least 2039. Photo #8 by Tomás Peñalver via Heart and Sun Foundation

Lake Retba boats in pink lake

Lake Retba boats in pink lake, which is located on Cap Vert peninsula in Senegal. Wikipedia states, “Salt is exported across the region by up to 3,000 collectors, men and women from all over Western Africa, who work 6–7 hours a day, and protect their skin with ‘Beurre de Karité’ (shea butter, produced from Shea nuts, which is an emollient used to avoid tissue damage. The salt is used by Senegalese fishermen to preserve fish, a component of many traditional recipes including the national dish, a fish stew called thieboudienne.” Photo #9 by When On Earth

Work boats on Retba Lake

Work boats on Lake Retba where the salt content is as high as 40% in some areas. Photo #10 via imgkid

Cap Vert peninsula Dakar

Lake Retba is also known as Lac Rose. It’s the same pink lake, Lac Rose or Lake Retba if you prefer, but zoomed way, way out courtesy of NASA. This image of Cap Vert peninsula and Dakar is from the Dakar, Senegal collection; it was captured in 2004. Photo #11 by NASA

Salt boat in Lac Rose, Dakar

The photographer said of this shot of Lake Retba, “Image was captured by a camera suspended by a kite line. Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) 7′ Rokkaku.” It may appear more red or orangish in this shot, but that’s the Dunaliella salina algae giving it the “pink” coloring. The lake appears more “pink” during the dry season from November to June. Maximum depth of Lake Retba is 9.8 ft (3 m). Photo #12 by Jeff Attaway

pink phenomenon by Dunaliella salina algae San Francisco Bay

Here’s the same pink phenomenon caused by Dunaliella salina algae, but this time it’s none other than San Francisco Bay. Here’s the explanation: “High power electrical supply towers and lines cross salt ponds of the South Bay. Salt evaporation ponds formed by salt water impounded within levees in former tidelands on the shores of San Francisco Bay. There are many of these ponds surrounding the South Bay. As the water evaporates, micro-organisms of several kinds come to predominate and change the color of the water. First come green algae, then darkening as orange brine shrimp predominate. Finally red predominates as dunaliella salina, a micro-algae containing high amounts of beta-carotene (itself with high commercial value), predominates. Other organisms can also change the hue of each pond. Colors include red, green, orange and yellow, brown and blue. Finally, when the water is evaporated, the white of salt alone remains. This is harvested with machines, and the process repeats.” Photo #13 by Doc Searls from Santa Barbara, USA

Hutt Lagoon as art

Yet a different pink salt lake, but this time presented as fine art. This is Hutt Lagoon in midwest Western Australia. Photo #14 by Steve Back

Hutt Lagoon, Western Australia brine shrimp farm

Hutt Lagoon contains the world’s largest micro-algae production plant as well acting as a farm that provides a commercial supply of brine shrimp. Photo #15 via Shrimp News

Pink Lake at Gregory Australia

Hutt Lagoon is located near Gregory, Australia. Max length is 8.6 miles (14 km) by depth of 1.4 miles (2.3 km); Hutt Lagoon’s max depth is only 2.1 feet (.65 m). Photo #16 by Eric Baker

Pinkness at Hutt Lagoon

Pinkness of Hutt Lagoon is pretty, but the lagoon also “contains the world’s largest microalgae production plant.” Photo #17 by Stefan L

Natural-color satellite image of Sivash Lake

Natural-color satellite image of Sivash Lake in Crimea. Sivash is also known by the unfortunate names of the Putrid Sea or Rotten Sea. Earth Snapshot said Sivash “lagoons show varied, bright colors, ranging from lime green to electric blue to pink.” NASA added, “The shallow waters of Sivash appear in shades of peach, mustard, lime green, brilliant blue, muted blue-green, beige, and brown. Thick layers of silt coat the bottoms of the shallow marshes, which are rich enough in mineral salts to supply a local chemical plant. The marshes’ shallowness and chemical composition contribute to their unearthly colors in satellite imagery. Surrounding the marshy areas are agricultural fields, most of them rectangular, but some of them shaped by center-pivot irrigation systems. Urbanized areas appear along the shores of the Black Sea, and highways curve and zigzag across the peninsula.” Photo #18 by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon / NASA Earth Observatory

Pink Lake Sivash

Sivash may not seem too “pink” in the satellite image, but it looks pink from this capture at ground level. Photo #19 by Alester

Masazir Lake in Azerbaijan

Meanwhile near Baku, Azerbaijan, there is another pink salt lake called Masazir Lake. Did you know?…”The pyramid shape prevents rain water from washing away the salt as it simply runs off the sides.” Photo #20 by Azerbaijan24

Workers mining salt from Masazir Lake

Workers mining salt from Masazir Lake. “The overall area of the lake is3.9 sq. miles (10 km2). Large volumes of chloride and sulphate are concentrated in ion composition of the water.” Wikipedia also noted, “A new salt making plant was built in 2010 for production of 2 Azeri brands of salt. The estimated amount of recoverable salt is 1,735 million tons.” Photo #21 by Azerbaijan24

Pink Lake Lake Natron

Pink Lake Natron in northern Tanzania. “The lake is within the Lake Natron Basin, a Ramsar Site wetland of international significance.” According to Wikipedia, “It is quite shallow, less than three meters (9.8 ft) deep, and varies in width depending on its water level. The lake is a maximum of 57 kilometers (35 mi) long and 22 kilometers (14 mi) wide. Temperatures at the lake are frequently above 40 °C (104 °F).” Photo #22 via Amazing Stuff

Lake Natron, Tanzania from Discovery Space Shuttle

Lake Natron, Tanzania from Discovery Space Shuttle on mission STS-29. The white speckles are “numerous near-white salt-crust ‘rafts’ peppering the shallowest parts of the lake.” Photo #23 by NASA

Lake Natron and Africa from above

Lake Natron from photographer Michael Poliza’s Eyes Over Africa. The high temperature and high salt content of Lake Natron make it an inhospitable environment for most animals, but the lake is also the “only regular breeding area in East Africa for the 2.5 million lesser flamingos, whose status of ‘near threatened’ results from their dependence on this one location.” Speaking of animals at this lake, if you’d like to see something really trippy, then you might want to check out Twisted Sifter’s post on how Lake Natron turns animals into stone. Photo #24 by ©Michael Poliza

Laguna Colorada, Bolivia

Laguna Colorada, aka Red Lagoon, is in Boliva. According to Wikipedia, This “pink” lake lies “within Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve and close to the border with Chile.” It’s 6.6 miles (10.7 km) long by about 6 miles (9.6 km) wide; average depth is only 13.8 inches (35 cm), with a max depth of 4.9 feet (1.5 m). Photo #25 by Valdiney Pimenta

Lama, Red Lagoon Laguna Colorada and Punta Grande

Lama in front of Laguna Colorada with Punta Grande in the background. “Laguna Colorada is part of the Los Lípez (formerly Laguna Colorada) Ramsar wetland. It was listed as a ‘Ramsar Wetland of International Importance’ in 1990,” thus spake Wikipedia. Photo #26 by Phil Whitehouse

Andean Flamingos at Laguna Colorada, Bolivia

Flamingos at Laguna Colorada, Bolivia. There are bountiful James’s Flamingos in the area as well as lesser amount of Andean and Chilean flamingos. Photo #27 by Luca Galuzzi

Pink Lake near Quairading Western Australia

Australia has several pink lakes, including this one which is about 6.2 miles (10km) east of Quairading, Western Australia. Photo #28 by Gnangarra

Pink Lake Quairading

Zooming out, here is Pink Lake Quairading from above. Photo #29 by Travel Puppet

Pink Lake Magadi in the Kenyan Rift Valley

Yet another pink lake is Lake Magadi located in the Kenyan Rift Valley. “During the dry season, it is 80% covered by soda and is well known for its wading birds, including flamingos…In places, the salt is up to 131 feet (40 m) thick….During the rainy season, a thin (<1 m) layer of brine covers much of the saline pan, but this evaporates rapidly leaving a vast expanse of white salt that cracks to produce large polygons." Photo #30 by ninara

Lake Magadi

Once upon a time, or several thousand years ago, Lake Magadi was not always so salty; back then the Magadi basin had a freshwater lake which was filled with fish. Photo #31 by ninara

Saline di Cervia, Park of Salina, in Italy

Although that clearly appears to be another pink salt lake, most of the images of Salina of Cervia show the salt mining in bodies of water that appear more ‘normal’ than pink. The history of this salt lake includes the fact that the salt pod became a part of the Papal States and eventually turned into a marsh. “In November 1697, Pope Innocent XII ordered it to be rebuilt in a safer location. The new city had huge silos for storage of salt, containing up to 13,000 tons.” One of the “main sights” in Cervia is a Museum of Salt. Photo #32 by In Adria Hotels

Salt mining at Cervia Saline di Cervia

Salt mining at Cervia where the salt has been called the ‘white gold’ of Cervia. According to a translated version of the info provided on PubblicitaItalia, “Salt, Cervia, has always been a valuable asset and incomparable, so much so that in ancient Rome Pliny the Elder wrote: ‘Nihil utilius sale et sun’ (Nothing is more useful than the salt and the sun). The saline Romagna Cervia extend over an area of ​​827 hectares, 1,600 meters away from the Adriatic Sea.” Photo #33 by PubblicitaItalia

Lake Kenyon at Murray-Sunset National Park, Victoria, Australia

Murray-Sunset National Park has “four lakes in the park that exude the brilliant shades of pink: Lake Crosbie, Lake Becking, Lake Kenyon and Lake Hardy.” The pink lake above is Lake Kenyon. The color of pink in the lakes may appear rosy pink or even pale salmon. “Their color is due to the presence of red algae that, along with the solid salt bed of the lakes, create this unusual hue. The pink is at its most intense after rain, due to fresh nutrients being washed into the lakes, which in turn trigger the growth of algae. At other times, the pink fades into a paler color that is almost white.” Photo #34 by Luis Mata

Lake Kenyon

This is also Lake Kenyon but closer. Photo #35 by John Kooistra of Queensland Birder

Lake Hardy at Murray-Sunset national park

A Parks Victoria brochure (.pdf) quoted Jim Kline, a local born and raised at Pink Lakes, as saying, “Changing in color from a glistening white to a deep pink, the Pink Lakes are a pretty sight at most times of the year. They are just as picturesque on bright moon-lit nights as they are in daylight.” The pink lake above is Lake Hardy, which is within Murray-Sunset National Park. Photo #36 by Jeff McKimm via Tony Marsh

One of the Pink Lakes in the Murray Sunset National park, Victoria, Australia

Another one of the Pink Lakes in the Murray Sunset National park, Victoria, Australia. Photo #37 by Papphase

Lake Crosbie

Lake Crosbie, 1 of 4 pink lakes in the national park. Photo #38 by John Kooistra of Queensland Birder

Pink salt lake in Victoria, Australia

Pink salt lake in Victoria, Australia. Photo #40 by NeilsPhotography

Reeds and pink water at Westgate Park saltwater lake

Reeds and pink water at Westgate Park saltwater lake; it’s located in Fisherman’s Bend, Melbourne, Australia. Photo #41 by Luke Richardson

Westgate Park Saltwater Lake

Westgate Park Saltwater Lake is being transformed into “a beautiful diverse bushland setting for locally indigenous species.” In February 2015, the Friends of Westgate Park announced that its pink lake was back for the third year in a row. Photo #42 by Luke Richardson

MacLeod Lake Australia

This is MacLeod Lake in Australia according to the photographer who also tagged this photo as “coral coast.” Photo #43 by Sean Comiskey

Dusty Rose Lake in British Columbia

Dusty Rose Lake in British Columbia. The Daily Mail said, “Canada’s Dusty Rose Lake in British Columbia is pink due to the particulate in the glacial melt waters feeding it.” Indeed it appears pink in the Google Map eye-in-the-sky shot, but not in Bing Maps. Photo #44 by Google / Digital Globe & #45 by Microsoft / Nokia / Digital Globe

Aerial view of the salt pans of Cagliari Italy

Aerial view of the salt pans of Cagliari, Italy. “The salt flats are now part of the Regional Park of Molentargius…The history of the extraction of sea salt at Cagliari seems to date back to about 3000 years ago.” In 1934, there was a church built for saline-extracting employees; it was abandoned in 1979 before being restored in 1991. Photo #46 by Cristiano Cani

Salt-loving bacteria gives reddish pink tint as water flows into Lake Eyre

Salt-loving bacteria gives a reddish pink tint as water flows into Lake Eyre; the “Lake Eyre basin is a drainage basin that covers just under one-sixth of all Australia….To provide a sense of scale, the Lake Eyre Basin is about the size of France, Germany and Italy combined…The Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park, Strzelecki Regional Reserve, Witjira National Park, Sturt National Park and Simpson Desert National Park are among a number of protected areas established within the Lake Eyre Basin.” Photo #47 by imgkid

Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre from a plane showing pink coloration from algae

Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre, aka Lake Eyre, is the lowest natural point in Australia. This pink lake in south Australia has a surface area of about 3,668 sq miles, with an average depth ranging between 5 ft (1.5 m) and 13 ft (4 m). You can see the pink coloration of the algae in this shot from a plane. Photo #48 by Hiltonj

Searles Lake and the Town of Trona

Is this a definitive list of all the pink lakes on earth? Not really as we also ran across this pink Searles Lake near the town of Trona in the Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County, California. The salts flats can appear pink extremely shallow “lakes;” there’s another pink lake in Esperance Western Australia and yet two more near Tailem Bend and Adelaide, Australia. Photo #49 by David~O

Photographer on the salt of pink lake

One thing is for sure, photographers love pink lakes and we are very grateful for that. As the blessing went in It’s a Wonderful Life, “Bread that this house may never know hunger; salt that life may always have flavor; and wine… that joy and prosperity may reign forever..” Photo #50 by Judith

Pink waves in Australian pink lake

Pink waves in Australian pink lake. Photo #51 by Stefan L

Pink Lake Senegal Retba

Another boat on the pink Retba Lake, Senegal. Photo #52 by imgkid

Not exactly pink lakes, but San Francisco Bay salt ponds

These aren’t exactly pink lakes, but the pretty pink patchwork of San Francisco Bay salt ponds. Photo #53 by dro!d from Atlanta, Georgia

World is turning to salt

So the lakes may be on the rare side, but after trying to round them up across globe, it sort of seems like the “world is turning in salt.” Photo #54 by Un-Alien-able

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