What Makes Lake Hillier Pink?

Brilliance | Dec. 18, 2017

Imagine jumping into a big, beautiful lake the color of bubblegum. This isn't just a dream scenario, it could happen in Australia. The southern coast of western Australia is home to Lake Hillier, a body of water that is naturally a bright shade of pink. Strangely enough, the water will retain this pink hue even when taken out of the lake. The lake sits on Middle Island in the Recherche Archipelago. But how did it reach this Pepto Bismol shade of pink? The salt content of Lake Hillier is so high, it's comparable to the Dead Sea. The color is the due to the combination of a high salinity, the algae species Dunaliella salina and pink bacteria called halobacteria. The algae and bacteria seem to thrive in waters with such high salt content, causing the whole lake to become the vibrant, unexpected hue.

This isn't the only pink lake in the world, however. Lake Retba, on the coast of Senegal, is just as pink.

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