• Annually up to 12 million tourists visit Bloody Pond

  • Unfortunately, ecology of Balkhash is threatened by contaminated water entering the lake from the local mining and metallurgical complex, and from China

  • The color of each of the lakes may change over time. For example, the Bewitched became almost black from red

  • It’s hard to believe, but Koyashskoe lake is separated from the Black Sea only by a narrow sandy isthmus

  • The water in Spotted Lake has therapeutic properties due to the high salt content

  • Jiuzhaigou Beach is one of a few places where the Chinese symbol panda lives

  • A suffocating smell of hydrogen sulfide is over boiling lake

  • Sapphire Lake Band-e Amir is a real oasis which has been surprising travelers since ancient times

  • These salt ponds in the United States helped to save several species of waterfowl, including the endangered ones

Water Colours: Colored Lakes of Planet

We all know that unusual forms of life can occur in the depth of water. But ponds may turn out to have an unexpected color, with all colors of the rainbow. The most mysterious colored lakes generated a lot of legends, presented in this water-gallery.

  1. Bloody Pond, Japan. This small lake with chilling name is located on the island of Kyushu, near the city of Beppu, which the inhabitants nearly live in bath. The steam coming from the hot reservoir, is hanging over this settlement permanently. The average lake temperature is about 90 degrees, and bathing of a carefree tourist in boiling water is life incompatible. But tourism is Beppu’s main source of income, so the city government specially fenced the lake, with the fence that does not prevent the view. According to the legend, alive criminals used to be boiled in the water of the lake, and it was stained with their blood, and in general, the lake is a branch of hell on Earth. However, scientists have destroyed these legends, finding that the water is red due to the presence of iron salts in it. And a «hell» temperature is maintained by close lava overlying.
  2. Balkhash, Kazakhstan. This lake occupies the 14th place in the list of the largest lakes in the world. According to one version, the word Balkhash means swampland and according to another one, it goes back to the ancient word «to melt», because since ancient times this region was the center of ore mining. But beautiful oriental legend is much closer to the heart of romantic ones. It tells about an evil magician Balkhash, whose daughter ran away from home, in love with a simple shepherd. Then he turned the two lovers into rivers, and he himself lied down between them, becoming a lake, so they never met. This body of water is in our list not due to the fairy tale, but because it is two-colored. The reason is that the eastern and western parts of the lake are separated by a narrow isthmus, and the composition of the water there is different. In the western part of the lake the water is almost fresh and has a yellow-grey tint. The eastern part is saltier, and the color of water ranges from blue to emerald-blue.
  3. Lake Kelimutu, Indonesia. Three neighboring lakes of three completely different colors are a mystery of nature. It seems that some giant painter started the repair and leaved three giant jars with paint opened. These lakes are located in the crater of a volcano on the island of Flores, and have almost unpronounceable local names, so that we will translate them. Locals believe that souls of different people go to the water of different lakes, hence their names appear. The souls of young people, prematurely departed in another world go to the turquoise-emerald Lake of boys and girls. Lake of the elders has a juicy grass shade, and souls of happy old man float away there. Different concentration of sulfuric and hydrochloric acids corresponds with the color of the water in both lakes. A color of Bewitched Lake is black and red because of iron oxides, and, according to legends, souls of sinners are sent there for eternal torment.
  4. Koyashskoe Lake, Russia. Nature has not deprived Russia by colored ponds. They are found in the Altai, and in the Crimea. One of the most famous, Koyashskoe salt lake, is located in the steppes of Kerch, on the territory of Opuksky National Park. Water turns pink due to single-celled algae, under the action of sunlight producing coloring pigment beta-carotene, as well as colonies of crustaceans Artemia. The hotter the weather, the more saturated the color is. The lake is less than one meter deep, and has salinity 350 g/l. In summer months it is almost dry. Here rare waterfowl that feed on plankton gladly build their nests, but there are not much tourists yet. Those who had a chance to visit the Koyashskom, say that the crystallized salt on its shores smells like violets.
  5. Spotted Lake, Canada. The feeling of being on another planet does not leave the tourists arriving on the shore of Spotted Lake. It is located near the town of Osoyoos in British Columbia, Canada, and is more like a bizarre paved dirt track than a pond. Its water is saturated with huge amount of minerals - it includes calcium, magnesium and potassium sulfates, and even silver and titanium. In summer months, the lake partially dries up, and a kind of puddle, crystallized in the sun, which, depending on the intensity of light, is painted in different colors, forms on its surface. Pale yellow, green, blue spots on a white background - it is not surprising that the local Indians considered lake sacred.
  6. Jiuzhaigou, China. Chinese wonder, perhaps, the most difficult to reach, is located nearly three-kilometer high. The name translates from Chinese as «Valley of the nine villages», but this place is famous not by its settlements. According to the legend, a young man, fell in love with the beautiful goddess, gifted her a mirror, but she carelessly dropped it. The mirror fell and broke into 108 fragments, which turned into a lake of Jiuzhaigou. The water of these lakes is colored in the most pleasant tone - from the sky azure to emerald green. This wonderful place was formed not so long ago - about 12 thousand years, when the surface began to leave calcium carbonate, remaining from the ice age. Calcium began to settle on the obstacles and formed a natural dam, dividing the lake.
  7. «Dairy» lakes, Russia, Japan, and Indonesia. As you might guess,  the lakes were called so because of their white color. However, contrary to the proverb about the rivers of milk and honey, you won’t find on the shores of these lakes neither jelly, nor even the withered grass. In Russia, the most famous milk lake can be called the Boiling Lake, which is located on Kunashir, the southernmost of the Kuril Islands. Mostly volcanic gases heat water in it up to 80 degrees, but, unfortunately, it is impossible to go for boiling water to this mountain lake. And all because the water in this small, but highly dangerous body of water is saturated with salts of arsenic and other heavy metals. Since ancient times locals mined the sulfur on the shores of lake, but the animals always were trying to get the lake aside, because of its evaporations, which do not carry anything useful. Besides Russia, such places can be found in Japan and on the Indonesian island Java.
  8. Band-e Amir, Afghanistan. Afghanistan is not the happiest place on the planet: the most common color in this small and suffering country is taupe. More surprising against the background of bleak wasteland mountains are lakes looking unearthly blue. In fact, the Bande Amir is not a lake, but a whole chain of six ponds, 150 meters deep. The cliffs that surround this single Afghanistan national park, are composed from a limy tufa, which enriches the water with carbon dioxide, that gives the water a rich local color. Unfortunately, it is better to enjoy the views of Bande-Amir in the pictures - due to the unstable situation around the lakes it’s easy to find minefields. In addition, the poverty of population contributes to uncontrolled grazing and fishing with the help of dynamite, which adversely affects the diversity of local nature.
  9. Salt ponds of San Francisco, USA.The only work of human hands in our list. Located in the San Francisco Bay artificial ponds were created by Cargill Inc and designed for salt production. Top view is more like a painting of a contemporary artist, rather than a lake. Maroon spots turn into bright red, green and yellow-brown. This is due to the presence of water in different types of microorganisms, enhancing the quality of salt. In salted water green algae are found, and where the salt content is higher there are the red ones.
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