Dec 3, 2012

Lake Hillier: The Pink Lake in Australia

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Photo by Jean Paul Ferrero/Ardea/Caters News (via Exposing the Truth


Lake Hillier is a pink-coloured lake on Middle Island in Western Australia. 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’.

The tiny lake only spans about 600 meters wide but its rose pink colour is unmistakable. However, the reason why it’s pink remains a mystery.


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Photograph via


The shallow briny lake is rimmed with white salt and encircled by dark green forests of eucalyptus and paperbark trees. A narrow strip of white dunes and sand separates the lake from the ocean’s deep waters. The first reported sighting dates back to the journals of Matthew Flinders, a British navigator and hydrographer in 1802. Flinders had climbed Middle Island’s highest peak (now known as Flinders Peak) to survey the surrounding waters when he came across this remarkable pink lake. [Source: A Guide to Asia]


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Photograph by JWB @


The reason for the lake’s colour is still under investigation. A possible explanation according to some scientists involves the low nutrient concentrations and different types of bacteria and algae. The pink colouration could also be from a sea salt and nahcolite (sodium bicarbonate) deposit reaction or red halophilic bacteria in the salt crusts. [Source: Wikipedia]


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To see Lake Hillier on Google Maps, enter the following coordinates: 34°5’41″S 123°12’10″E (or just click here)


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A Guide to Asia
Marine Life Society of South Australia: Sept. 2004 Newsletter #314






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