Mother Nature has many colors in her palette and her pink natural wonders are glorious – mainly because they are features we don’t normally associate with being pink. For example – pink lakes that look like someone has tipped over a bottle of Pepto-Bismol and rocks that have been painted with a rose brush. You don't need rose-tinted glasses to check out these pink natural wonders – they’re pretty cool!
Lake Hillier is found on Middle Island, the biggest of the Recherche Archipelago, off the coast near Esperance. From the air, Lake Hillier looks like a huge blob of rosy pink bubble gum (anyone remember Bazooka Joe gum?) in a sea of emerald green forest. Unlike other bodies of unusual colored water, the exact reason for the lake’s vivid pink hue is unknown, but scientists generally agree it is a dye created by bacteria in the salt crusts. Lake Hillier is just one of a number of colored lakes in Western Australia – an area that seems to have more than its fair share of natural pink wonders.
This beautiful pink stretch of water is found not too far from the Senegalese capital of Dakar, just north of the Cap Vert Peninsula. Lake Retba is also known as Lac Rose/Rose Lake, so that’s pretty obvious. The cause of pink water in nature is either due usually to a high content of certain salts and minerals or algae. In the case of Lake Retba it’s algae, namely Dunaliella Salina. The water also affects its surroundings with the samphire bushes growing in the terracotta dunes being magenta-colored. Like the Dead Sea, the salts create fantastic buoyancy if you fancy a float.
There are two pink beaches in Indonesia, one in the Komodo Islands and this one in East Lombok. It gets its name from having been the location used as the headquarters of the occupying Japanese army and indeed, some relics remain, and for the color of the sand. The pinkness comes from tiny, crushed pieces of pink coral mixed in with the white sand.
Dusty rose Lake in British Columbia looks like a pool of strawberry milkshake. The lake is formed by glacial melt waters which contain particulates (tiny fragments of minerals) which give the pink color although, as the waters flow into the hollow, they actually have a lavender hue. The minerals are also evident in the pinky/purple rocks surrounding the lake.
The World Heritage stunning ruins of Petra – the Rose City – have been attracting tourists for generations. Carved from the rose-red sandstone, the site includes all kinds of buildings with everything from simple dwellings to the huge, majestic Treasury and Theater. The area also contains many caves – some excavated as dwellings, others as tombs. Other caves have been left as natural formations and it is these where the pink colors of Petra – unweathered by the elements –can be seen to their best advantage.
I’m sure you all know of the masses of cherry blossom trees which blossom so profusely in Japan, but in a country where flower viewing is taken seriously, there is also another of the great pink natural wonders. There are extensive fields of pink moss/shiba-zakura spreading out beyond the skirts of Mount Fuji, but they are found elsewhere too. The blooming season for pink moss is late-April to mid-May and there are various festivals celebrating the flower.
In startling contrast to the concrete streets of the neighboring coastal city, the pink lakes of Torrejieva are actually salt pans. They are quite dull in color until the sun shines brightly and then the pink of the water’s algae comes to the fore. Like Lake Retba, and lakes in Ukraine and Western Australia, the algae is Dunaliella Salina and the water has a very high salt content. The algae’s color comes from beta –carotene and is mined for use in food colorings. The Salt Pans of Torrejieva are a protected national park and they are a haven for migratory birds, and diverse flora and fauna.
Pink rocks, pink beaches, pink lakes – all unusual, all beautiful. I think I’d like to float in a pink lake? What about you?
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