Watch the Shifting Colors of Xiechi Lake
A salt lake in Yuncheng, often called China’s “Dead Sea,” has tourists flocking to it for an unusual reason. Its waters are appearing in intense shades of magenta, green, and yellow due to algal blooms and rapidly breeding insects.
The rare phenomenon is caused by the algae species Dunaliella salina, which NASA has reported appears green in marine environments but can turn red if exposed to conditions of high salinity and light intensity due to “the production of protective carotenoids in the cells.” Carotenoids are the plant pigments responsible for the lake’s brightly colored hues.
A study done on the unique algae species by faculty at the University of Concepción, Chile says that D. salina is presently