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12 of the Strangest Lakes on the Planet

The marvels of nature come in all forms and sizes, but it’s undoubtedly very curious to observe how only one kind of phenomena, too, can vary so greatly it never stops surprising us. One great example are lakes. They come in all colors of the rainbow, even pink, and can have different origins, such as volcano and even meteor craters. Let’s celebrate the diversity of these manifold bodies of water together by learning about 12 of the strangest lakes on our planet

1. Lake Manicouagan

Location: Canada

strange lakes Lake Manicouagan
Source: NASA
This lake is one of its kind and has an insanely interesting origins story, but we must first point out that it's not really a lake, although it appears to be one. Instead, it's the only concentric river on Earth. Whatever you may call it, however, doesn't take away from the fact that Manicouagan was created over 200 million years ago when a 3-mile asteroid slammed into our planet.

2. Lake Baikal

Location: Russia

strange lakes Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal is special in so many ways. Not only is it the world's deepest lake, it's also the oldest, having formed between 25 and 30 million years ago. In winter, the thick sheets of ice, which meet, shift and create deep ridges and beautiful patterns are a sight to behold.

3. Tricolored Lakes

Location: Indonesia

strange lakes Tricolored Lakes
A cluster of three lakes on the island of Flores in Indonesia all stem from the same volcano crater, but each lake has a different color and each color changes with seasons. The strange lakes have a symbolic meaning for the locals, each having its own name: one is called 'Tiwu Ata Mbupu', or the Lake of Old People, the second is called 'Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai', the Lake of Young Men and Maidens, and last one that has an almost pitch black color is called 'Tiwu Ata Polo', or the Lake of Evil Spirits.

4. Boiling Lake

Location: Dominica

strange lakes Boiling Lake
As the name of the lake already revealed to you, this bizarre lake is constantly kept at a temperature of a rolling boil, and the cause remains a mystery. The lake is too hot to conduct in-depth scientific testing, but researchers have theorized that it leads directly to a magma vent beneath, which could explain the constantly boiling temperature.

5. Lake Balkhash

Location: Kazakhstan

strange lakes Lake Balkhash
At first glance, lake Balkhash looks like an ordinary big lake, really, but it's no less weird than all the other lakes on this list because it's simultaneously both a freshwater and a saltwater lake. The western part of the lake has fresh water, whereas the waters in the eastern part of the lake are salty. What about the middle? Well, it's a narrow passage that is somewhere in-between salty and sweet.

6. Aral Sea

Location: Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

strange lakes  Aral Sea
A tragedy of a lake, the Aral Sea, once stretching from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan is now barren land, but less than a century ago, in the 1960s, it was one of the largest lakes in the world. The reason behind its disappearance? Human interference, as the waters of the lake were widely used for irrigation leaving only 10% of the lake's fresh water supply. The results are devastating: places that were once fishing villages are now part of a completely barren desert landscape.

7. Exploding Lakes

Location: Congo, Rwanda, Cameroon

strange lakes Exploding Lakes
Some of the most unpredictable and dangerous places on the planet are the Exploding Lakes, the unexpected eruptions of which can kill. One example is the eruption that occurred in 1986 in Lake Nyos, Cameroon (pictured above), which reportedly killed 2.000 nearby inhabitants as the result of releasing a massive cloud of carbon dioxide. There are several such lakes in the territory of Congo, Rwanda, Cameroon, and scientists now carefully monitor their activity to prevent a future disaster.

8. Laguna Colorada

Location: Bolivia

strange lakes aguna Colorada
Laguna Colorada's waters have an irresistible, pinkish-red hue, exactly like that of the flamingos that inhabit it. Scientists have determined that the lake gets its unusual hue from salt-loving algae, among which are Dunaliella Salina, which feed on saltwater and make the red pigment that tints the lake.

9. Pitch Lake

Location: Trinidad

strange lakes Pitch Lake
This lake may not look like much, but it's very special, as it stores the largest deposits of liquid asphalt, or pitch, in it, over 10 million tons in just a 100-acre area. Some parts of the asphalt solidify as they oxidize, but the "waters" of the lake are in constant slow stirring motion, which enables the majority of the asphalt to remain in a liquid state.

10. Lake Resia

Location: Italy

strange lakes Lake Resia
What is a clock tower doing in the middle of a lake, you ask? Well, it wasn't always in a lake, it was once the center of a small Italian town that was completely submerged underwater as this artificial lake was created. Today, when the water in the lake freezes in the winter, Lake Resia becomes a popular tourist spot, and visitors can casually skate their way to the clock tower.

11. Spotted Lake

Location: Canada

strange lakes Spotted Lake
What's up with this polka-dotted lake? It turns out that this Canadian lake is actually very rich in minerals in such enormous concentrations that they bunch up and form a film on the surface of the water. Unfortunately, it's privately owned and isn't open to the public.

12. Jellyfish Lake

Location: Palau

strange lakes Jellyfish Lake
Luckily, this beautiful lake is open to the public and welcomes visitors. But why would anyone want to enter a lake packed full of jellyfish? Isn't it a recipe for disaster? Strangely, no, as the golden jellyfish that populate this beautiful turquoise lake are completely harmless and tourists love swimming among them!
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