Heading out to the lake for an afternoon, or even a weekend, can be one of the most relaxing activities we can do. The tranquility of the water, along with the beautiful scenery surrounding the area can make us forget about the stresses of everyday life. We can swim, fish, or just relax on the sand watching the calmness of the water.
There are numerous bodies of water located on this planet that are absolutely incredible. While most of them are considered to be some of the most beautiful places on Earth, others can be quite dangerous – and even deadly – if anyone enters the water. This list will detail 10 of the most amazing bodies of water on the planet.
10. Pitch Lake, Trinidad
Pitch Lake, which is located at La Brea in southwest Trinidad, is home to the biggest natural deposit of asphalt in the world. In fact, it is said to hold around 10 million tons of asphalt in its 109 acre location. Asphalt found in Pitch Lake has been used to pave many roads and airport runways around the world. Some of the most famous locations where the asphalt has been used include the roadway in front of Buckingham Palace in England, the Lincoln Tunnel that connects New York to New Jersey, and La Guardia Airport in New York.
Visitors to the location can actually walk on the surface of the lake and will experience unusual sounds of burping and hissing coming from under their feet. During the rainy season, small pools of water form there and people actually bathe in it. In fact, villagers say that the water (which has high levels of sulfur) is the fountain of life and can cure several ailments, such as skin conditions and joint pain. Many people consider this place to be the eighth wonder of the world.
9. Blood Falls, Antarctica
There is a bright red, five-story-high waterfall that flows very slowly out of Taylor Glacier located in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. The bright red color of the waterfall is the reason why it is nicknamed the “Blood Falls.” It was first discovered in 1911 by scientists who observed the bright red stains on a cliff of ice.
The water, which comes from a hyper-salty lake, has been trapped under the glacier for two million years. Throughout the years, it has picked up iron from the underlying bedrock, so when it comes out of the glacier, the iron-rich water reacts with the oxygen in the air which makes it turn to rust; therefore, turning the water into its red color.
If you’d like to see the Blood Falls for yourself, the Dry Valleys are only accessible by either a helicopter or by sea.
8. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Salar de Uyuni in southwest Bolivia is the location of the world’s largest salt flat measuring at over 10 thousand square kilometers. The landscape includes a thick crust of salt in hexagonal patterns and shapes, along with huge mounds of salt rising from the ground.
At different times throughout the year, nearby lakes overflow, which causes a thin layer of water to develop on top of the salt flat. This causes an amazingly perfect reflection of the sky. In addition to being filled with salt, there is also lithium that is found at this location. Lithium – which is the element responsible for powering smartphones, electric cars, and laptops – is extracted by local workers.
Another amazing feature of this location is the world’s first ever salt hotel. Hotel Palacio de Sal was built entirely of salt blocks and is located at the edge of the salt flat.
7. Boiling Lake, Dominica
Located high up in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Dominica, the Boiling Lake definitely lives up to its name as it actually boils and lets out steam. There is molten lava under the lake so it is continuously letting off steam and hot gas, which means that swimming is definitely forbidden. It also isn’t the easiest place to get to, as the only way up is by an exhausting three to four hour hike from the village of Laudat. The lake has a breathtaking view of grey-blue bubbling water, along with a huge cloud of vapor, and is the second largest boiling lake in the world measuring at 200 feet across.
The lake was first discovered in 1870 by two Englishmen working in Dominica. Five years later, it was investigated more thoroughly and the water temperature was recorded at being between 180 and 197 degrees Fahrenheit – and that’s just along the edges, not even in the middle where it was boiling. They also recorded that the lake is more than 195 feet deep.
6. The Dead Sea, Israel and Jordan
The Dead Sea is located along the border between Israel and Jordan and is around a one-hour drive from Jerusalem. It has an extremely high salt concentration, which makes it almost impossible for anything to sustain life in the water.
At over 1,400 feet below sea level, the shores of the Dead Sea are the Earth’s lowest point on land. The sea itself is almost 1,000 feet deep, making it the deepest hyper-saline lake in the world. It is 31 miles long and 9 miles wide at its widest point. The sea is also 9.6 times saltier than the ocean.
It is, however, a very common spot for people to relax and feel absolutely weightless while they float in the water. In addition to the extreme amounts of salt in the water, other mineral contents include calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and potassium chloride, along with several other minerals that are thought to be highly therapeutic. In fact, many people cover themselves in the mineral-rich mud and float in the water, taking advantage of the healing properties believed to be in the Dead Sea.
5. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Located approximately halfway between the capital city of Zagreb and the coastal city of Zadar, Plitvice Lakes are definitely a must-see destination in Croatia. In a forested national park, there are 16 lakes that are interconnected by several waterfalls and the lakes are separated by dams made of natural limestone. All of the lakes, joined together, cover a distance of eight kilometers.
The National Park, which covers an area of 300 square kilometers, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. It is home to many types of animals, such as bears, lynx, deer, boars, wolves, and several species of rare birds. The highest point of the park is 1,280 meters, while the lowest point is 380 meters. The tallest waterfall, called Veliki Slap, measures 70 meters tall.
People visit the National Park all throughout the year and will experience different sceneries throughout the different seasons. From the lush greenery and warm weather in the summer, to the snow and ice covered landscape of the winter, it is a magnificent place to visit.
4. Kelimutu Crater Lakes, Indonesia
The Crater Lakes are located on top of Kelimutu volcano in Flores, Indonesia. There are three crater lakes on top of the volcano – each a different color, as well as each having different temperatures and chemical compositions.
The westernmost lake (translated to “Lake of Old People”) is normally blue, while the “Lake of Young Men and Maidens” lake is usually green, and the “Bewitched or Enchanted Lake” is typically red. However, the three lakes change their colors occasionally, going from blue to green, red, black, chocolate brown, and white. A report by Indonesia’d read, “A few years ago, the lakes were white, turquoise and red. In November 2009, they were black, turquoise, and a coca-cola brown. And again in July 2010, the lakes were resplendent in various shades of green.”
While it’s not entirely certain as to what causes the lakes to change colors so often, it is believed that some minerals in the water could be interacting with the volcanic gas, therefore changing the water color.
3. Caño Cristales, Colombia
It only happens for a short time each year – between September and November – but that’s when Caño Cristales incredibly changes from a normal clear river into a beautiful rainbow of colors. This body of water has been nicknamed “the river that ran away from paradise,” and “the most beautiful river in the world.” It is located in a remote and isolated part of the “Serrania de la Macarena” national park in Colombia.
In the short time between the wet and dry seasons, a rare plant called Macarenia clavigera lines the river floor and turns a vibrant red. In addition to the red plant, it is surrounded by yellow and green sand, as well as blue water, causing the amazing flow of beautiful colors.
For several years, the location was closed to visitors because of a high level of guerrilla activity in the area. It was, however, reopened to tourists in 2009 and numerous Colombian Tourist Agencies fly visitors to La Macarena where they then have to take either a horse or donkey (as well as walking) to the location of the river.
2. Spotted Lake, British Columbia, Canada
Located northwest of Osoyoos, British Columbia, in the Eastern Similkameen Valley is the Spotted Lake. This small lake is rich in minerals, specifically sulphates, and also has small quantities of titanium and silver.
In the summer, when the majority of the water evaporates, is when you will see circular spots along the river – just like its name describes. These spots are caused by the concentration of the minerals left behind after much of the water evaporates. During the summer, the spots change in size and color due the minerals changing from the amount of water which is evaporated over time. The color of these spots can be anywhere from blue to green to yellow, making it a beautiful, colorful, spotted lake.
Another interesting fact is that during World War I, the salt from the Spotted Lake was used to make ammunition. In fact, laborers drew up to one ton of salt each day from the lake.
1. Grand Prismatic Spring, USA
Located in Yellowstone National Park in the United States, the Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in the park. The spring, which was first described and named by the Hayden Expedition in the year 1871, measures in at 90 meters across and more than 50 meters deep.
The spring forms when hot water comes up through cracks in the Earth’s surface, rising, cooling, and then falling. This constant cycle causes the rings of vibrant rainbow colors to form in the spring, ranging from red to yellow to green to blue. The hottest part of the spring is in the middle, which is a brilliant color of blue with temperatures getting as hot as 189 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot water there bubbles up and eventually cools down as it spreads out across the surface. The reason for the rainbow of colors is because in each ring there are different types of bacteria living in the different temperatures of water.
While the hottest part of the spring is 189 degrees, the outermost reddish colored ring is the coolest (and home to the most bacteria), but it’s still very hot at 131 degrees Fahrenheit.