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Strawberry Pink Lake Color Explained June 8, 2012
Cameroon's pink lake
“Lakes like Retba and the Dead Sea, which have high salt concentrations, were once thought to be incompatible with life. But they are very much alive.” Bath University bacteria expert Michael Danson.
A British biologist says he knows why a salt lake in Senegal can turn a color more typical of a strawberry milkshake.

Lake Retba (Pink Lake) is located only a half-mile from the Atlantic Ocean near the capital, Dakar.

It’s so salty that, like in the Dead Sea, swimmers can easily float on the surface.

Bath University professor of biochemistry Michael Danson says the lake turns such a unique color of pink because of a microorganism known as Dunaliella salina.

“They produce a red pigment that absorbs and uses the energy of sunlight to create more energy, turning the water pink,” Danson told the Daily Mail.

At only 9 feet in depth, Lake Retba can at times be comprised of up to 40 percent of the microalgae, Danson says.

Photo: Library