African lake turns red from high levels of salt

Jun 05, 2012, 09:35 IST | Agencies

A lake in west African nation Senegal has turned blood red in colour due to a high concentration of salt, with some areas within the lake containing up to 40 per cent


Workers make their way to Lake Retba daily in a bid to collect the salt and piles of it can be seen on the banks of the shores, the Daily Mail reported.
Lake Retba in Senegal
Like the world famous Dead Sea, swimmers can now lay back on the water and drift with ease as the salt content helps in floatation.
"The strawberry colour is produced by salt-loving organism Dunaliella salina. They produce a red pigment that absorbs and uses the energy of sunlight to create more energy, turning the water pink," said Michael Danson, an expert in bacteria from Britain's Bath University.
"Lakes like Retba and the Dead Sea, which have high salt concentrations, were once thought to be incompatible with life - hence the names. But they are very much alive," he said.

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