"At this stage, the organism that turns the lake pink is still there. Currently, the Recherche Archipelago Nature Reserve, a highly protected area in Australia, includes the Lake Hillier within its boundaries. Only scientists are allowed to carry out research and work on the lake. Lake Hillier is truly stunning with its distinctive strawberry milkshake color. This lake was the finish line for the Dakar Rally road race and is frequently used to harvest salt by local villagers. In 1803, he named the lake as Lake Hillier after a crew member of his expedition team who died of dysentery that year. Now, the lake and its surrounding habitat became accessible only to scientists working in the region, while the public visitation to this area was highly restricted. Lake Hillier was first discovered and named by the English navigator and cartographer, Matthew Flinders, who arrived at the Middle Island in 1802. Lake Hart, Lake Bumbunga, and Hutt Lagoon all give Lake Hillier a run for its money. The Extreme Microbiome Project, part of the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities (ABRF), Metagenomics Research Group (MGRG), has been performed on the lake. "In the north-eastern part was a small lake of a rose color, the water of which, as I was informed by Mr Thistle who visited it, was so saturated with salt that sufficient quantities were crystallized near the shores to load a ship. However, catch it during the dry summer months when the saline levels are high and you will see it turn strawberry pink and sometimes, even red. You may unsubscribe at any time. The concentration of salt in Pink Lake is essential to the pink color and, as conditions alter, Pink Lake could turn pink. From a distance, Lake Hillier of Australias Recherche Archipelago looks like a swath of solid bubble-gum pink. This algae has adapted to thrive in the lake’s extremely salty conditions using a pink pigment to survive the high salt concentrations that are toxic to other organisms. The vibrant colour is permanent, and does not alter when the water is taken in a container. The reason of its unique colour is still a topic that is not fully understood by scientists, although most suspect it has to do with the presence of the Dunaliella salina microalgae. When the crew went ashore to investigate, they found that the lake seemed as salty as the Dead Sea. It's best to view it from the air in any case. It is surrounded by eucalyptus and paperback trees and a long and thin shore divides the Southern Ocean from the lake. High salt content in your bloodstream puts a serious strain on your body's natural ability to stabilize sodium and chloride levels. The exact cause of Lake Hillier's distinctive bubblegum or strawberry milkshake color is not known for sure. 'Australia's Pinkest Lake' The Lake is approximately 600 metres long and 250 metres wide, covering an area of around 16 hectares. It has surface area of 1.5 hectares (3.7 acres). Thus, as of now, the lake and its surrounding habitat are free of human intervention and anthropogenic threats. Scientists are yet to agree on why it's pink, but that doesn't take anything away from its uniqueness. Lake Hillier is thought to gain its colour mainly from a microorganism called Dunaliella salina. The Island is managed by the Western Australian Government and is accessible by boat and air. Middle island is the largest of the islands and islets that make up the Recherche Archipelago, a group of about 105 islands and over 1,200 ‘obstacles to shipping’. Though, as of yet, no conclusive proof exists to firmly explain the source of the pink color of the lake, investigations indicate that secretions from certain microbes inhabiting the lake waters could contribute to the pink color of the water. Here, the same species of microalgae is prevalent in the water which is also thought to produce the lake's similar appearance to Lake Hillier. These photosynthetic microorganisms thrive in waters that have high salinity, such as Lake Hillier. Mystery of the 'pink lake' solved: Strange neon colour of Australia's Lake Hillier is caused by salt-loving microbes. natural ability to stabilize sodium and chloride levels. For a long time it was assumed that micro algae was responsible for Lake Hillier’s pink colour. While Australia has many seasonal pink lakes, they are all on the mainland, and while many are very easily accessible, none are quite as impressive, or anywhere near as pink as Lake Hillier. It is located on Middle Island, off the coast of Western Australia. Lake Hillier is located on Middle Island in the Recherche Archipelago off the coast of Cape Arid, east of Esperance. On Middle Island off the southern coast of Western Australia sits Lake Hillier, one of Australia's most famous pink lakes. Off the west coast of Australia is Middle Isle, home to a bright pink lake called lake Hillier. Unlike Lake Hillier, the lake fluctuates in color -- sometimes the water is a baby pink, and other times the water transforms into a rusty, almost murderous shade of red. Travelers can, on occasion, be dropped off on Middle Island from helicopter rides and cruise ships but these tend to view the lake from the shore. Why Lake Hillier Is Pink 1. by Daniel Kelly — March 29, 2016 ; More than two years ago, we speculated as to why Australia’s Lake Hillier is such a spectacular pink. When you consume salty water it can cause serious damage to your body. The specimen he brought on board was of a good quality and required no other process than drying to be fit for use.” - Captain Flinders Log. Although most are harmless, there is the potential for ingesting something very unpleasant. Lake Hillier is situated in near the coast of Middle Island in the Recherche Archipelago to the south of Western Australia. Even if the lake’s waters were visibly pink historically, they were no rose since 2017 for over ten years. Researchers recently discovered that the lake's unique color is caused by algae, halobacteria, and other microbes. Pink Lake Hillier, Australia. Lake Hillier is treated as a natural wonder and hence receives many visitors by air who fly over the lake to catch a glimpse of the bubble gum pink color of the water body. In the past, people speculated that the color could be due to its high salt content or from microalgae. The Lake Hillier is inhabited exclusively by only microorganisms. Cell membranes, though good at keeping salt from flooding into cells are semi-permeable. This nature reserve is limited to tourist visitations and only licensed operators are allowed to operate here. These little critters produce the carotenoid pigments, beta-carotene (which are also found in carrots), that are thought to give rise to the bubblegum coloration of the lake's water. Draw closer, and the color takes on a more watery, translucent quality, but remains unmistakably pink. He decided to name the lake Hillier of a recently deceased crew member William Hillier who had died of dysentery whilst docked at the island. The lake is approximately 600 metres long and 250 metres wide. Birdlife International has declared the area around the lake as an "Important Bird Area", due to the high biodiversity of avian fauna in this region. Photo by Kurioziteti123. The lake is, nowadays, primarily a tourist attraction but was once used to extract the salt. The lake is, nowadays, primarily a tourist attraction but was once used to extract the salt. Believe it or not, Lake Hillier isn’t even the only pink lake in Australia. Lake Hillier is situated in near the coast of Middle Island in the Recherche Archipelago to the south of Western Australia. Since its discovery in 1802, Lake Hillier has drawn in curious visitors from all over the world. Lake Hillier, on Middle Island in Western Australia’s Recherche Archipelago, lies about 130 kilometres (70 miles) from Esperance, or an eight-hour drive from Perth.It's a surreal sight; the pink lake neighbours the dark blue waters of the Indian Ocean, with a strip of lush green forest acting as a barrier. But in essence, Lake Hillier is actually a pink salt lake. Lake Hillier was first discovered in 1802 by the British Navigator and Cartographer Mathew Flinders aboard the HMS Investigator. Like any salt water, it is not advisable to drink water from Lake Hillier. The Lake is well known for its bright pink hue that contrasts with the deep blue of the ocean. Lake Hillier is one of Australia’s most famous pink lakes, featuring widely across social media and in the media. It is particularly notable for its pink colour. When viewed from above, the lake’s pink color provides a stark contrast to the surrounding blue waters of the Southern Ocean from which it is separated by a narrow strip of land. Lake Hillier, a 600-meter long, unique, saline lake with a bubble gum pink color, is located near the shores of the Middle Island of the Recherche Archipelago in Australia, off the southern coast of Western Australia. It’s located off the coast of Esperance in Western Australia on Middle Island, the largest of the islands that make up the Recherche Archipelago. By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Australia's famous pink Lake Hillier is a sight to behold. The Dunaliella salina is the microbial algae species inhabiting the lake which is held responsible for catalyzing reactions that result in the pink color of the lake. If, however, on the rare occasion you do find yourself near the lake and go for a swim you'll be in for an interesting experience. Travel 10 Most Stunning Hidden Caves in the World Waiting to be Explored. He was the first to report this lake when he observed it by climbing the highest peak on the island. In 1803, he named the lake as Lake Hillier after a crew member of his expedition team who died of dysentery that year. Discovered in 1802 by a Royal Navy explorer its strawberry milkshake color is awe-inspiring. Apparently many people get completely confused with the two lakes because of the names. He was the first to report this lake when he observed it by climbing the highest peak on the island. Lake Hillier’s neighbour is the infamous Pink Lake. For this reason, the lake's color is thought to be a combination of these factors. The algae are completely harmless but drinking hypersaline water is a no-no. Environmental scientist Tilo Massenbauer said historically the pink hue was caused by the lake's microscopic algae which produced beta carotene — the pigment that gives carrots an orange colour. Similar to Lake Retba, it's believed that microorganisms living in the water, called Dunaliella Salina, are the cause of the pink water. These salt-loving photosynthetic microorganisms generate energy by using other parts of the visible light spectrum except in orange/red frequencies. According to the official site for the pink lake of Australia, it is perfectly safe to swim in the lake. Several attempts were made in the next few years to utilize the lake for salt mining but various factors including the relative toxic properties of the salt extracted from this lake, discouraged such salt mining activities in the lake. He named his discovery in honor of a recently deceased crew member who had died from dysentery when docke… The Dunaliella produces carotenoids, a pigment found in carrots as well. Lake Hillier was first discovered and named by the English navigator and cartographer, Matthew Flinders, who arrived at the Middle Island in 1802. Lake Hillier is 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, off the south coast of Western Australia. Even when the water is scooped up into a … In his log, he noted that he was surprised to see "a small lake of rose colour". At the time, a type of color-producing algae, Dunaliella salina, was at the top of our list. Lake Hillier, or Pink Lake, is located on Middle Island, the largest island within the Recherché Archipelago within the Cape Arid/Esperance region, off the coast of southern Western Australia. Lake Hillier is a pink-coloured lake on Middle Island in Western Australia. Most scientists do agree it has probably something to do with the presence of a specific species of microalgae - Dunaliella Salina. Researchers collected lake samples to identify algae, archaea, and bacteria The most notable feature of the lake is its pink colour. From above the lake appears a solid bubble gum pink. Unlike other pink lakes in Western Australia, which fade out during the summer months, the vibrant colour of Lake Hillier is permanent, and does not alter even when the water is taken in a container. Exactly what causes the lake in Australia to be pink is up for debate but is probably to do with the microorganisms that make Lake Hillier their home. On investigation, he found that the color didn’t change even when the water was put into a bottle and that it had a high salt content. Its latitude and longitud  e coordinates are  34°5′45″S 123°12′10″E . Just enter your email and we’ll take care of the rest: © Copyright 2021 | Interesting Engineering, Inc. | All Rights Reserved, Middle Island in the Recherche Archipelago, 10 Most Stunning Hidden Caves in the World Waiting to be Explored, The Panama Canal: A Story of Blood, Sweat and Rebellion, The Engineering Behind Chand Baori and Other Famous Stepwells, The Science Behind the Mysterious Seneca Guns, Australia's Glow-in-the-Dark Marsupials Surprise Scientists. This study attempts to unravel the mysteries of the microbial world and the unique microbial adaptations to high salt conditions. It’s located off the coast of Esperance in Western Australia on Middle Island, the largest of the islands that make up the Recherche Archipelago. Several atte… There are also large amounts of halophilic bacteria and archaea in the salt crusts of the lake that could also be the cause for the lake's interesting appearance. All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2021 worldatlas.com, The Causes And Effects Of Ocean Pollution. Water cannot be freely locked into your cells and in hypersaline conditions, the process of osmosis will see water fleeing from the cell's interior to correct the concentration imbalance. Cell membranes, though good at keeping salt from flooding into cells are semi-permeable. The researchers used a metagenomic analysis on the lake to find Dunaliella as well as Salinibacter Ruber, Dechloromonas Aromatica, and a few species of the Archaea. Lake Hillier is a pink-coloured lake on Middle Island in Western Australia. Lake Hillier is a pink-colored lake on Middle Island, the largest of the islands and islets that make up the Recherche Archipelago, Western Australia. This shrinks the cells of your body and your kidneys will attempt to correct the problem by producing urine to remove excess sodium. The carotenoid red pigments secreted by Halobacteria and d. salina are responsible for the pink lakes' otherworldly colors. Lake Hillier is one of Australia’s most famous pink lakes, featuring widely across social media and in the media. In 1889, another European, Edward Andrews, arrived on the Middle Island with his sons with the idea of extracting salt from Lake Hillier. Bacteria and Archaea tend to make up the bulk of the micro-ecology of hypersaline lakes like Hillier. Pink halophytic bacteria also live in the salt crusts around the lake which could also contribute to the pink color of the lake. Lake Hillier is situated in near the coast of. The water in Senegal's Lake Retba always seems to have a pinkish hue to it. The salt miners thus evacuated the area and many years later, Lake Hillier became a part of the Recherche Archipelago Nature Reserve, thus achieving a protected status. If, however, on the rare occasion you do find yourself near the lake and go for a swim you'll be in for an interesting experience. A long and thin shore divides the Southern Ocean from the lake. Pink Lake, Australia What is pink lake? That's all before we even think about the plethora of microorganisms that inhabit the water. But exactly what causes the lake to be pink? Lake Hillier is also unique in that it is on an Island. Lake Hillier on Middle Island, Australia, is the color of bright-pink bubble gum. The lake is best appreciated from the air in any case where you can really see its vivid pink color in contrast with surrounding forests and the Indian Ocean. It has a high level of salinity and the color is suspected to be due to saltwater reacting with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or certain microorganisms—particularly salt-loving algae ( dunaliella salina ) and pink bacteria (halobacteria). They duly filled up their stock with salt from the shores of the lake. Lake Hillier isn't the only pink lake in the world, there is another famous one on the coast of Senegal called Lake Retba. In 2015, a team of researchers from the Extreme Microbiome Project (XMP) decided to conduct an investigation behind the lake's vivid pink hue. The Extreme Microbiome Project, encompassing the investigation of the microbiota of the lake which survives under the extreme salty conditions, is the prime subject of study here. Today it's a protected nature reserve but can be visited under special circumstances. He stepped onto Middle Island, climbed the highest peak and saw a bright pink lake. Lake Hillier is about 600 meters (2,000 feet) in length by about 250 meters (820 feet) in width. Lake Hillier—Australia. Lake Hillier and its surrounding habitat also serve as the base of a significant volume of scientific research. Despite this, the lake is very difficult to get to making it nye on impossible for regular tourists to actually visit on the ground. However, they can only do so if the urine is less salty than saltwater which can lead to losing more water than was drunk and dehydration quickly sets in. Hillier Lake is one of such amazing lakes. Lake Hillier is a pink-coloured lake on Middle Island in Western Australia – the largest island from the Recherche Archipelago, a group of … The tiny lake only spans about 600 meters wide but its rose pink colour is unmistakable. Lake Hillier's color is best appreciated from the air, where it contrasts vividly with the lush surrounding forest. It was discovered in 1802 by a … Unfortunately the Pink Lake has lost its colour over the years due to many contributing factors such as; the salt mining ceased in 2007, a new construction of a railway and highway nearby caused the loss of the colour. Unlik… “The most abundant DNA that we recovered from the lake came from a bacterium called Salinibacter ruber, a salt-loving halophile which also produces red pigments,” said Ken McGrath. The pink lake phenomena around Australia are generally believed to be associated with high salinity levels, although Lake Hillier is an anomaly in that it stays its brilliant pink colour year around, as opposed to fading like most others. Just like most seas and ocean around the world with the distinct exception of not having any macro-organisms like fish to worry about. Despite the coloration, the water is clear and will not cause any harm to you or your skin. Lake Hillier, Western Australia | © matteo_it / Shutterstock Why is it pink? Dunaliella Salina is able to tolerate very high salt concentrations ranging from 0.2% to as much as 35%. The contrast between the pink colour of the lake and the blue ocean creates a truly striking view. Today the island is an uninhabited nature reserve that is covered in a dense Eucalyptus forest. In 1802 British navigator and cartographer Mathew Flinders was on board the expedition vessel HMS Investigator. The pink colour is considered to be due to the presence of the organism Dunaliella salina. In January of the same year, he went ashore and climbed the highest peak on the island which is named after him today. In 1889, another European, Edward Andrews, arrived on the Middle Island with his sons with the idea of extracting salt from Lake Hillier. The lake and its habitat is studied extensively by the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities. Lake Hillier is surrounded by a rim of woodland with eucalyptus and paperback trees as the dominant vegetation and is separated from the sea by sand dunes covered by vegetation. Pink Lake is a salt lake in Western Australia’s Goldfields-Esperance region. Scientists believe the bubblegum colour comes from the presence of Dunaliella salina, a micro algae containing a reddish pigment that thrives in salty lakes. Retba's color is especially evident during the dry season (between November and June) and less obvious during the rainy seasons. Scientists found that pink bodies of water like Lake Hillier contain both Halobacteria and a type of algae known as Dunaliella salina, which thrive in salty environments like the pink lakes. Some speculate that Lake Hilliers color, like that of the other lakes, is the result of high salinity combined with the presence of a salt-loving algae species known as Dunaliella salina and pink bacteria known as halobacteria. These non-algal microorganisms also produce a similar carotenoid pigment within their cell membranes which is either the main cause or a contributing factor to the lake's overall coloration. It lays in stark contrast to the blue sea just nearby and the green trees all around. The lake lies right next to the Pacific Ocean, and only a narrow coastline separates them. It is such a significant distinguishing feature of the archipelago that air passengers often crane their necks to take a glimpse of it. 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