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China's 'Dead Sea' Transforms Into Incredible Pink and Green

CC0 / Pixabay / Emotion
Emotion - Sputnik International
Curious visitors from around central China have flocked to Yungcheng Salt Lake this month to see it turn pink on one side, while the other remains green.

The Yuncheng Salt Lake in the country's northern Shanxi province is also known as the "Dead Sea" of China due to the amount of salt in it, allowing people to float on the surface.

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But it's not the amount of salt in the 120 square kilometer, 500-million-year-old lake that makes it a popular tourist attraction. It's the fascinating natural phenomenon, caused by the presence of algae known as Dunaliella salina.

Dunaliella salina produces chemicals which under particular conditions change the ancient lake's original color, making it appear green from one side and pink on the other. Last winter the same algae turned the lake blood-red.

"In a marine environment, Dunaliella salina appears green; however, in conditions of high salinity and light intensity, the microalgae turns red due to the production of protective carotenoids in the cells," Mohammad Tourian, a scientist at the University of Stuttgart, explained to NASA in 2016.

Chinese social media has exploded with photos of the breathtaking two-colored attraction.

​Incredible changing colors of China's "Dead Sea." Yuncheng Salt Lake turns a reddish hue

​Dunaliella salina has been found in salt lakes in several other countries, including Iran's Lake Urmia.

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