Tucked off the south coast of Western Australia is an enchanting pink colored lake, Lake Hillier a saline lake on the edge of Middle Island, the largest of the islands and islets that make up the Recherche Archipelago in the Goldfields-Esperance region.
Viewed from the top, Lake Hillier is seen as colored a bilious, Pepto-Bismol shade of pink and looks like a swath of pink bubble gum. The captivating lake measures 600 meters in length, and lies just next to the Pacific Ocean. In an aerial view, the contrast between the mellow pink of the lake and the blue hue of the ocean makes it a dreamy masterpiece.
It owes its captivating pink color because of the presence of the Dunaliella Salina microalgae. This microalga produces a pigment called carrotenoids which are also found in carrots. It is also believed that halophilic bacteria found in the salt crusts could also be one cause as well as the reaction between the salt and the sodium bicarbonate.
The pink lake was first discovered in the year 1802 by Matthew Flinders, a navigator and cartographer who took samples from the lake and stated the existence of Lake Hillier in his journal and who captained HMS Investigator. In January of the year 1802, Flinders went ashore and climbed to the island’s highest peak, which is named after him today.
Situated on the Middle Island, off the coast of Western Australia, the stunning lake is lusciously surrounded by eucalyptus ad paperback trees as well as the ocean on its northern side. Compared to other pink lakes around the world, the waters of Lake Hillier is still distinctively pink even when it is in a glass.
A few years back, they used to extract salt from the beautiful lake but these days, it is only used for tourism purposes. Explorers can find that the water is clear and is safe to human skin and the microalgae Dunaliella Salina is also harmless. Swimming in Lake Hillier is also safe but quite impossible for normal tourists as it cannot be visited.
Some find the pink lake as bizarre while other say it looks like a strawberry farm viewed from above. From the vibrant Lake Hillier, on Middle Island in the Recherche Archipelago, in Western Australia, to a protected pink nature reserve which borders a Spanish city, the natural wonder is considered as an enchanting masterpiece to behold.
Western Australia’s Lake Hillier is more striking than the other pink lakes around attributing to the lush vegetation surrounding it. The moment the lake water reaches a salinity level higher than that of sea water, the temperature becomes high enough and proper light conditions are provided, the alga begins to accumulate the red pigment beta carotene.
Other countries from around the world having pink lakes include Senegal, Canada, Spain, Australia and Azerbaijan. Lake Retba, located on the coast of Senegal, shares Lake Hillier’s chromatic oddity. For many years, it was the finish line for the famed Dakar Rally road race, and it’s still frequented by local villagers who harvest salt from the water there, their skin covered with shea butter to keep it safe.