A lagoon in Argentina has turned bright pink overnight. The lake is situated in the southern Patagonia region, well-known for its fish factories…
Spectacular pictures and videos of the pink Corfo Lagoon in Argentina only tell half the story. The body of water has turned a striking shade of pink due to stinky, contaminated fish waste.
Typically blue, the water at the lagoon suddenly changed color after local authorities reportedly permitted fish-processing plants to dump their waste in the nearby Chubut river, which feeds the lagoon.
“The coloration is due to a preservative called sodium sulfite,” Federico Restrepo, a local activist and environmental engineer, told the AFP. “It is an antibacterial that also contaminates the waters of the Chubut River and waters of the cities of the region.”
The chemical is used to prepare prawn for export at the local fish-processing plants. Those plants are required by law to treat their waste before dumping it, but one town has reportedly given them a pass on that rule.
“Those who should be in control are the ones who authorize the poisoning of people,” explains environmental activist Pablo Lada.
Lada is one of several activists who are sounding the alarm about the lagoon, which is located in the Patagonian region of Argentina, near the towns of Trelew and Rawson.
The area is home to fish-processing plants that typically send their waste to a nearby treatment center on trucks. However, Rawson residents have grown fed-up with the pollution and the stinky shipments, so they stepped up earlier this month to cut off the route entirely.
“We get dozens of trucks daily,” Lada said. “The residents are getting tired of it.”
City officials responded to the blockade by easing pollution guidelines at the affected plants.
Some of those officials say the pollution is nothing to worry about.
“The reddish colour does not cause damage and will disappear in a few days,” said Juan Micheloud, the environmental control chief for Chubut province.
The lagoon is not used for swimming but it still poses a concern to local residents, according to Sebastian de la Vallina, Trelew’s planning secretary.
“It is not possible to minimize something so serious,” he told the AFP.
Corfo’s colour is unnatural, but there are a handful of naturally occurring pink lagoons in the world. The most famous one is Lake Hillier, one of several pink bodies of water in Australia.
India’s Lonar Crater Lake mysteriously turned pink overnight last year. Experts suspected at the time that it was due to a combination of algae and high salinity levels in the water.
Now subscribe to this blog to get more amazing news curated just for you right in your inbox on a daily basis (here an example of our new newsletter).
You should really subscribe to QFiles. You will get very interesting information about strange events around the world.