Did you know? Pink lakes, ice caves & black sand beaches

ICE CAVES:

These, dear friends, are the Mendenhall ice caves in Alaska. They exist only because a glacier is melting– and as you can guess, glaciers don’t keep on melting forever.

Glacial meltwater pond on Mendenhall Glacier.

Over the past year, researchers have noticed strange ancient trees standing upright in the ice caves. Turns out that as it recedes, the glacier is unearthing forests which have been frozen for the last 1,000 years or so. Such a natural wonder is melting away.

 

PINK LAKES:

Many countries from around the world have pink lakes, including Senegal, Canada, Spain, Australia and Azerbaijan.

pink_lake

Pink lakes tend to have a striking colour due to the presence of algae that produces carotenoids, such as Dunaliella Salina, a type of halophile green micro-algae especially found in sea salt fields.

Once the lake water reaches a salinity level greater than that of sea water, the temperature is high enough and adequate light conditions are provided, the alga begins to accumulate the red pigment beta carotene.

In Senegal, Lake Retba has such a high concentration of salt – 40 per cent – that is harvested by local people. The lake is dotted with salt collectors working up to seven hours a day, using long shovels to pile boats high with the mineral. To protect their skin from the water they rub their skin with Shea butter.

 

BLACK SAND BEACHES:

Waianapanapa Beach is a great black sand beach that was formed by waves crashing against volcanic rock over decades and decades.

Waianapanapa-Black-Sand-Beach-Maui

At this beach you can find some of the most beautiful sites you’ll ever see. You can look and go into sea caves, bridges made of natural stone, and you can look at the old King’s Highway.

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