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Beautiful in pink: The India Crater Lake changes color overnight


The Indian Lake, which was formed by a meteorite 50,000 years ago, mysteriously changes from green to light pink overnight, either due to algae or due to increased salinity

  • Lonar Lake was formed about 50,000 years ago by a meteorite that struck Earth
  • The water is usually green, but was only changed to pink overnight
  • Experts say it could either be due to increased salinity in the water
  • They also suggest that algae may be present – or a combination of both
  • Officials took samples from the water that are now being tested in a laboratory

India's Lonar Lake, which formed about 50,000 years ago after a meteorite struck Earth, changed overnight from a green hue to a bright pink.

Experts say the change is either due to increased salinity in the water, overgrowth of algae, or a combination of both.

When photos of the lake's new flamingo-colored water began to circulate on social media, experts said Lonar had changed color in the past, but the transformation had never been so sharp.

State Department of Forestry officials have collected water samples to determine the exact cause of the shift, experts said.

Experts say the change is either due to increased salinity in the water, overgrowth of algae, or a combination of both

India's Lonar Lake, which formed about 50,000 years ago after a meteorite struck Earth, changed overnight from a green hue to a bright pink. Experts say the change is either due to increased salinity in the water, overgrowth of algae, or a combination of both

Geologist Gajanan Kharat said in a video from the state-owned Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation on Twitter: "The salinity in the lake has increased as the water level has dropped dramatically this year and it has become warmer, which has led to overgrowth of the algae. "

"These algae turn reddish at warmer temperatures, so the lake turns pink overnight."

Experts have found in the past that the body of water is highly alkaline with a high salt content, creating an environment that is perfect for bacteria.

This specific bacterium, known as Halobacteriaceae, occasionally produces a red pigment that collects sunlight and converts it into energy.

State Department of Forestry officials have collected water samples to determine the exact cause of the shift, experts said

State Department of Forestry officials have collected water samples to determine the exact cause of the shift, experts said

And when Halobacteriaceae is formed in large numbers, the water can sometimes turn reddish in color.

With factories and offices closed for months due to the closure, which was only beginning to ease this week, the blue sky returned to the polluted cities of India, sparking speculation that the restrictions could also affect the lake.

Madan Suryavashi, head of the geography department at Babasaheb Ambedkar University in Maharashtra, said: "There wasn’t much human action here due to locks, which could have accelerated change."

"But we won't know the exact causes until our scientific analysis is completed in a few days," he told AFP.

Lonar Lake is located about 300 miles east of Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra and is a popular tourist destination for residents and people around the world.

Lonar Lake is located about 300 miles east of Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra and is a popular tourist destination for residents and people around the world

Lonar Lake is located about 300 miles east of Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra and is a popular tourist destination for residents and people around the world

And it is famous for the largest basalt crater, reports The Times of India.

Lonar Lake is not only a strongly alkaline body of water, but also contains a lot of phosphorus. Experts say that the earliest signs of life on earth may have developed there.

The high phosphorus concentrations indicate a common natural mechanism that accumulates the mineral in these lakes, researchers from the University of Washington explained in a study from 2019.

Life as we know it needs phosphorus, it is one of the six most important chemical elements of life and the backbone of DNA and RNA molecules, but it is a scarce mineral.

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