This Looks Like An Alien Phenomenon, But It’s Happening Right Here On Earth
There’s something pretty amazing happening to Lake Tuz in central Turkey. This hypersaline (that is, super-salty) lake is an ecological hotspot, and it’s currently experiencing a bloom of Dunaliella salinaalgae.
This algae turns the whitish water a deep crimson color. If we didn’t know any better, we’d assume that these surreal-looking photos were altered.
The white areas you see on the shoreline are salt deposits. Lake Tuz is the second largest lake in Turkey, and it’s one of the largest hypersaline bodies of water on Earth.
The normal color of the water lies just beyond this red bloom. The water is so salty that it’s naturally white in color.
These photos were taken on July 16, which marked the height of the bloom.
Lake Tuz is only a lake for half of the year. The water evaporates during the dry season, at which point the lake turns into a salt flat. During the rainy season, the water comes back, and the area becomes home to a number of wild birds, including flamingos, geese, and kestrels. In 2001, the lake was deemed a protected area.
The flamingos don’t mind the color at all. In fact, they eat this red algae, which contributes to their pink hue!
A crimson lake might sound like something out of a horror movie, but all’s well at Lake Tuz. If anything, this natural wonder is pretty amazing, and it certainly makes the world a little more colorful!