Lake Hillier, also called Pink Lake, is a salt water lake located to the south coast of Western Australia. This lake measures about 600 metres (2,000 ft) in length and about 250 m (820 ft) in width. The outer edge of the lake is surrounded by sand and densly populated trees like paperbark and eucalyptus. It is a part of the islands /islets that form the Recherche Archipelago in the Goldfields-Esperance region. Lake Hillier lies very close to the Pacific Ocean, just separated by a narrow strip of land covered by trees. Lake Hillier was first discovered in 1802 by navigator and cartographer Matthew Flinders. The Pink Lake was named after William Hillier, a crewman who died of dysentery while the Investigator was docked at Middle Island.
Pink Lake – Why its pink
The most extrordinary and striking feature of lake Hillier is its pink color. The water does not change its color when taken out of the lake. It retains its Pepto Bismol shade of pink when poured into a container . The pink colour is due to the presence of the organism called Dunaliella salina. This living organism is a type of halophile green micro-algae mostly found in sea salt areas. This type of algae can thrive in extreme environments, including highly saline waters. Dunaliella salina has an ability to create large amount of carotenoids (a pigment also found in carrots) which give the lake its unique color. In addition to this algae, scientists also found a bacteria called Salinibacter rubersome and other kind of red-coloured microbes in the lake.
Lake Hiller’s water, though having a distinctive color, does not appear to cause any danger to humans. Swimming in the lake is prohibited since it is used only for research purposes. Its bright pink color has been attracting tourists for years. The beauty of Lake Hillier can be best admired through air.