What You Need To Know About An Indian Lake That Turned Pink?

A few weeks back, a lake named the Lonar Lake in the city of Mumbai changed colors from green to pink. Scientists are amazed by this change since it happened overnight.

Read More to learn about some of the scientific reasons that might have affected this change in the Lonar Lake along with some other lakes in the world that have gone through this process.

What’s The History Behind The Lonar Lake?

Lonar Lake, which also has the name of Lonar Crater, is a lake that is located in the eastern part of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. The lake is known as the World’s Largest Basaltic Impact Crater which is about 35,000 – 50,000 years old.

The lake was first recorded to be formed by a volcanic origin since the lake is located in the volcanic basalt of the Deccan Plateau. However, later research found a glassy material called maskelynite which is found in meteorites. Therefore, scientists confirmed that the lake was formed by a meteorite strike rather than some volcanic activity.

“Formed 35,000 to 50,000 years ago, Lonar is the only ‘fresh’ impact structure in basalt on Earth, making it an important analog for impact craters on the surface of the Moon.” – NASA

Stated On Fox News

For those who are interested in the size of the lake, the Lonar Lake has a diameter of about 1.2 kilometers. The lake attracts quite a bit of tourism along with many different scientists for research purposes.

What Might Have Happened To The Lake?

As I stated above, the Lonar Lake mysteriously turned red a few weeks ago which then turned into a pink color as time passed on.

I posted a satellite image of the Lonar Lake where you can see the color change. The first image was from May 25th where the lake was green. The second image was taken on June 10th where you can see the clear pink color.

Photo by Fox News

One of the biggest theories that are behind this change was the rise in salinity in the lake. During this time of the year, water levels are decreasing which leads to a higher rate of red algae in the lake.

A red pigment called the bacteriorhodopsin is the key reason behind the red/pink color in the lake. The main function of bacteriorhodopsin is to absorb sunlight and convert it into energy.

Therefore, since summer months have very warm temperatures, the red pigment absorbs the energy from the sun where a bloom on a large scale would lead the color of the lake to change.

“Salinity in the lake has increased as water level has gone down drastically this year and it has become warmer too resulting in overgrowth of algae. This algae turns reddish in warmer temperatures and hence the lake turned pink overnight.” – Geologist Gajanan Kharat

Stated On Fox News

I just want to make a statement that these are just theories made by geologists and scientists in the country. Actual samples of the pink lake have been taken to labs for further studies.

Why isn’t This New?

This incident has also been recorded in Lake Urmia of Iran and Lake Hillier of Australia.

When it comes to Lake Hillier, the lake consists of two types of algae. One is Halobacteriaceae, a pink-colored microorganism that grows with high salinity. On the other hand, Dunaliella salina is a single-celled algae that is green.

Unlike the Lonar Lake, Lake Hillier doesn’t change its color rapidly and maintains its pink for a certain period of time.

When looking into Lake Urmia, there is a sudden decrease in water levels during spring and summer. A combination of low water levels and high salinity (due to the sun) turns the color of the lake into the pink that we see today.

Sources

  1. Lonar Lake Tries On a Rosy Color
  2. Why Did India’s 50,000-Year-Old Lonar Lake Suddenly Turn From Green to Pink?
  3. India crater lake that’s up to 50,000 years old just mysteriously turned pink
  4. Indian lake turns pink leaving locals baffled
  5. A 50,000-year-old lake in India just turned pink and experts don’t know exactly why

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