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Australia has pink and purple lakes

By Morgan Wallace
Published in Nature
February 02, 2024
2 min read
Australia has pink and purple lakes

Australia’s Enchanting Pink and Purple Lakes

Lake Hillier Image source: 9News

Australia, often regarded as a land of breathtaking natural wonders, is home to some extraordinary marvels that continue to captivate visitors from around the world. Among these wonders are the enchanting pink and purple lakes that exist in various parts of the country. These vibrant lakes, like Lake Hillier in Western Australia, offer a surreal and picturesque sight that seems almost otherworldly.

Lake Hillier, located off the coast of Esperance in the Recherche Archipelago, is undoubtedly one of the most famous pink lakes in Australia. Its stunning cotton candy pink hue stands out strikingly against the surrounding blue ocean and lush green foliage. This fascinating natural phenomenon has puzzled scientists and intrigued travelers for decades.

Pink Lake Image source: Pinterest

What causes these lakes to exhibit such vibrant colors? The answer lies in the presence of certain microorganisms such as Dunaliella salina and Halobacteria. These tiny organisms produce pigments that tint the water, resulting in the astonishing hues we see.

In the case of Lake Hillier, the pink coloration is primarily attributed to the presence of Dunaliella salina. This single-celled green microalga thrives in extreme salt-rich environments. As the sunlight interacts with the pigment produced by Dunaliella salina, the water takes on a beautiful pink hue, which remains relatively stable and visible year-round.

While Lake Hillier is the most renowned pink lake in Australia, there are several other equally mesmerizing lakes scattered throughout the country. Hutt Lagoon, located in Western Australia, is another famous pink lake that showcases a range of intensities in its hues, transforming from bubblegum pink to lilac or even deep purple depending on the time of day and the season. The presence of carotenoid-producing algae, similar to those in Lake Hillier, contribute to the lagoon’s stunning colors.

Besides pink lakes, Australia is also home to purple lakes. Lake Tyrrell in Victoria, for instance, boasts a captivating purple color due to the presence of Halobacteria. These microorganisms produce red pigments that mix with the sunlight, creating a surreal purple spectacle.

Visiting these unique natural wonders is an experience like no other. The opportunity to witness the captivating colors of Australia’s pink and purple lakes is truly a feast for the eyes and a great source of wonder for those fortunate enough to witness them in person.

Next time you plan a trip to Australia, make sure to include these mystical marvels in your itinerary. Their extraordinary beauty and mesmerizing colors will unquestionably leave an everlasting impression—one that truly showcases the marvels and mysteries of the natural world.

Source: Atlas Obscura




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Morgan Wallace

Morgan Wallace

Political journalist

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