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Earth's Weirdest Landscapes: Lake Hillier, Australia

10 otherworldly destinations for your bucket list

Text by Melissa Pandika

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Minden Pictures/SuperStock
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Lake Hillier sits like a giant punchbowl at the edge of Middle Island in Western Australia's Recherche Archipelago, surrounded by a thick forest of paperbark and eucalyptus trees. A slender strip of shore separates Lake Hillier from the predictably blue Southern Ocean, highlighting the lake's otherworldly appearance.

Theories differ on the origins of the lake's bubblegum hue. Some believe it comes from a dye produced by two microorganisms called Halobacteria and Dunaliella salina, while others suspect the red halophilic bacteria that thrive in the lake's salt deposits. In any case, the lake's color isn't a trick of the light—it's positively pink, no matter where you look.


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