This is not your average lake.

Lake Hillier, a pink (salty!) lake on the coast of Western Australia, is still a bit of mystery to science.

Hutt Lagoon in Western Australia. Photo by Teddy Fotiou.
Hutt Lagoon in Western Australia. Photo by Teddy Fotiou.

The reason for the unique coloring of the water is still not fully understood by experts, but most believe that the water gets its hue from the presence of a certain type of microalgae. Called Dunaliella salina, this algae produces the same pigment found in carrots. Others, however, believe that the existence of a halophilic (salt-loving) bacteria in the salt crusts contribute to the rosy tone.

giphy-3

Not only does it have a completely wacky color, the lake is saltier than the nearby Pacific Ocean. In fact, it was used as a location for salt mining for decades. The first known visitor to the lake, explorer Matthew Flinders wrote in a journal about his findings:

“In the north-eastern part was a small lake of a rose colour, the water of which, as I was informed by Mr. Thistle who visited it, was so saturated with salt that sufficient quantities were crystallised near the shores to load a ship. The specimen he brought on board was of a good quality, and required no other process than drying to be fit for use.” (Entry dated 15 January 1802)

lake-hillier-2

The salt industry eventually ended up failing, however, due to the toxicity of the salt collected.

Roaring Earth journalist Teddy Fotiou at the pink lake.
Roaring Earth journalist Teddy Fotiou at the pink lake.

The only species that call this lake home are microorganisms and bacteria. Despite this, the lake is considered safe to swim in (if you can get there). The only methods for getting to this surreal location are via helicopter or cruising to the island and hiking through the forest.

Planet Earth never ceases to amaze us. Watch the video below to learn more: