The mystery of the pink lake is revealed - A "hidden" world

Lake Hiller, in Western Australia, is one of the most famous in the world, despite being in a very isolated spot.

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Η Lake Hiller, in the West Australia, is one of the most famous in the world, despite being located in a very isolated spot.

The lake owes its publicity to its truly incredible color, which is reminiscent of bubble gum, there is no other way to describe this unreal and "thick" ροζ.

Lake Hillier2

A color that has always been a great mystery, which no one had been able to decipher. A new study claims that the mystery is not metaphysical at all, but a small "miracle" of our physical world.

Scientists who have carefully studied the lake say that its color is due to an extremely rare combination of colored bacteria and algae.

The lake is located on the southwest coast of Australia, is 600 meters long and 250 wide and very salty. Its salt content is about 8 times higher than that of the sea.

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Scott Taige, of the University of Vermont in Burlington, once saw the lake on television and was impressed: "I thought it was unbelievable. "That I have to go there to start collecting samples and understand what is happening," he said.

Taige, a biologist himself, is the co-founder of the XMP (Extreme Microbiome Project), an international collaboration of scientists who want to explore the genetic profile in isolated and extreme environments. Their ultimate goal is to discover and record new germs.

Taige collaborated with Ken McGrath and his biological laboratory in Brisbane, Australia. McGrath visited the lake and took samples from both the water and the shore.


The wonderful world of microorganisms

The team analyzed the samples using a technique called transgenomics; they simultaneously sorted all the DNA in the environmental sample, and then powerful computers isolated the genes of individual germs.

Sounds simple, but it's not. And most importantly it is something we have just recently acquired the knowledge and ability to do.

Their analysis revealed that there are about 500 organisms living in the lake that love extreme environmental conditions, yes there are and they are called extremists. These organisms are diverse: Algae, bacteria and germs.

Most of these microorganisms are allophilic, that is, they love salt very much. And many are colorful, such as purple sulfite bacteria, Salinibacter ruber, which is red-orange, and a rosacea called Dunaliella salina. Scientists have concluded that the cocktail of these microorganisms gives the lake its strange color.

Dunaliella salina, one of the microorganisms that give the lake its color

Why these microorganisms have such colors is also interesting: They are given carotenoids, pigments whose purpose is to protect the body from excess salt.

Some of the germs discovered in Lake Hiller are new to scientists working to decode and classify them.

The team has already worked in many of the most extreme environments on the planet, such as the Darvaza Crater in Turkmenistan, the Antarctic Plains and the Movile Cave in Romania.

Darvaza Crater in Turkmenistan, also known as the "Gate of Hell"

Their next projects are the Danakil Fault in Ethiopia and Lake Magic in Australia, a lake whose waters are "like battery fluids".