The Yuncheng Salt Lake, also known as “China’s Dead Sea”, has recently become a popular destination for thousands of fascinated tourists.
The ancient salt lake, which is 500 million years old and covers 120 square kilometers has turned blood red. And it isn’t a crime scene, but rather the natural result of algae in the water.
A rise in temperature and light intensity caused organisms called dunaliella salinas to recently turn red.
In the marine environment, Dunaliella salina appears green. However, in conditions of high salinity and light intensity, the micro-algae turns red due to the production of protective carotenoids in the cells like at Iran’s Lake Urmia that suddenly turned deep red in July 2016.
Aside from it’s blood-like colour, the salty water means people can easily float on its surface, earning the lake the name: “China’s Dead Sea”.
The river’s striking colour is even more pronounced when compared to its other unaffected half on the opposite side of a road, located in the north China city of Yuncheng, Shanxi Province.
Locals have been taking salt crystals from the lake from more than 4,000 years.
While it certainly looks unusual, the phenomenon has been seen in France, the US, Turkey and more recently, Iran.