The Mystery Of Australia's Pink-Colored Lake Hillier

Many lakes around the world are famous for their crystal-clear waters, such as the Blue Lake in New Zealand and Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Australia has its own claim to fame when it comes to lakes, but it's nothing like the lakes previously mentioned. This lake has a bubblegum pink color that makes it stand out among the lush trees and the nearby blue ocean where it is located.

Lake Hillier can be found on an island in Western Australia's Recherche Archipelago. The lake is surrounded by the wilderness and separated from the ocean by a strip of land, and its length measures just 1,968 feet (600 meters). Matthew Flinders, a cartographer and navigator, discovered Lake Hillier in 1802 and wrote about his unusual find in his journal, per Hillier Lake. Unlike some pink lakes that turn into a pink color depending on the season or time of day, Lake Hillier retains its vibrant pink color all year round. What sets apart Lake Hillier from other pink lakes is that its water still retains its pink tint even when placed in a clear glass.

What makes Lake Hillier pink?

In the early 20th century, salt was mined from Lake Hillier, but it is no longer being done. The lake has salt crust deposits, and per The Pinnacle List, the water's salinity is 10 times more than that of the ocean. Despite its saltiness, experts say that it's absolutely safe to swim in the lake. Since its discovery, Lake Hillier has been studied by experts in order to find out what causes its pink color. The most common hypothesis is that the concentration of salt mixed with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) deposits makes the water pink. Another possible explanation is the presence of algae or pink bacteria. Although these are possible, there is no concrete evidence or scientific explanation that can back these hypotheses.

Lake Hillier is interesting to see, but unfortunately, it is closed to the public. The lake is difficult to access, and the only ones permitted in the location are researchers. Tourists, however, can get an aerial glimpse of the lake through helicopter tours offered in the area (via Leisure Pro).