How Australia’s Lake Hillier gets its pink color

How Australia’s Lake Hillier gets its pink color

Lake Hillier located off the south coast of Western Australia (Middle Island) is an iconic lake known for its vivid pink color.

Scientists postulate that the lake’s solid bubblegum color results from the intermixing of Halobacteria and a salt-tolerant algae species called Dunaliella Salina.

When mixed with salt-tolerant microalgae, the bacteria produce red pigments that create a stunning strawberry milkshake color. The chemical reactions between the salt and the microorganisms also make the lake ten times saltier than the ocean nearby. But the lake is still safe to swim in.

There are 29 other pink lakes in the world. But unlike other pink lakes that morph into different colors, Lake Hillier — 2,000 feet long and 660 feet wide — retains its pink hue all year round. The contrast between the bright pink and dark blue ocean water is stunning.

Lake Hillier, Australia
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Aussie Oc
Lake Hillier, Australia
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Yodaobione
Lake Hillier Australia
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/PruneCron