Disappearing Lake Urmia Became Bloody in Iran

02.08.2016

On the images captured by the NASA satellite, the salt Lake Urmia in Iran looks like a pool of blood. The unusual color of the water is caused by the green algae Dunaliella: at higher salt concentrations they become red.

Disappearing Lake Urmia Became Bloody in Iran

Urmia is an enclosed lake, which was once the largest in the middle East. However, every year due to the climate change on Earth and human activities, the surface area reduces to 220 square kilometers. For 40 years the pond had decreased by 70%. The water evaporates quickly, as a result, it is becoming more salty and algae colors the lake in the sinister bloody color. In addition to Dunaliella, Halobacteriaceae participates in this process - the bacteria that produces the pigment bacteriorhodopsin. Scientists predict, the Lake Urmia may have the sad fate of the Aral Sea.