Did you know there are 117 million lakes in the world? Me neither (until I looked it up). Of those 117,000,000 lakes, 29 of them have been some shade of pink at one point in their existence.
Many of these pink lakes are dyed due to algae or chemicals, and are not permanent. Lake Hillier, possibly the most famous pink lake, is not only permanently pink but is so pink that if you stuck a glass in to collect some water, it would not dull the color.
Discovered in 1802, the lake is located on an isolated island off the south coast of Western Australia. It is about 2000 feet (600 meters) long and 820 feet (250 meters) wide. It is surrounded by a thin rim of sand and a thick forest.
The vegetation surrounding the lake is so dense that it is almost impossible to access it by land.
Why is it Pink?
As mentioned earlier, there are multiple pink lakes found around the world. That being said, Lake Hillier is unique in it’s permanent and vibrant hue of pink that does not change even when small samples are taken.
The reasoning behind the pink coloring is not confirmed, though there are multiple theories. The lake is surrounded by salt deposits, and the water has high salinity. One theory is that the presence of halophilic bacteria in the salt crusts dye the water.
The most popular theory is that there are a high number of Dunaliella salina, a small organism and micro-algae. Strangely, other lakes dyed pink by these same organisms shift color vibrancy and hue with the weather, but Lake Hillier does not.
While the lake is considered to be safe for humans, it doesn’t matter much because it is almost impossible to get to. The salt levels of the lake are almost that of the popular Dead Sea in Israel, where plants and animals cannot live, and you float with ease due to high levels of buoyancy. Lake Hillier is widely used for research purposes, and while tourism exists, it is only via helicopter or airplane ride from above.
For six years in the early 20th century, salt was mined from the lake. This process has since ceased.
As disappointing as it is, the lake only looks like bubblegum. Being almost 10 times as salty as the ocean, I would’t recommend tasting it, even if you could somehow get to the water. That being said, it would definitely make a cool picture and trendy Instagram caption.