The Meyil Obruk Lake in the Central Anatolian province of Konya has turned pink due to the bacteria formation resulting from high temperature and low water level, an academic from Konya Technical University has said.
The lake at the heart of the country acquired its new color due to an algae and bacteria boom amid rising temperatures. The body of the water, also known as the home of migratory birds and a primary sanctuary for pink flamingos in the spring and summer, draws more visitors nowadays.
Algae produce a red-orange pigment called beta-carotene when temperatures increase, along with the rate of salination, to protect themselves from harmful sunlight. This, in turn, changes the lake into a red or pink color that lasts until the arrival of the rainy season when the lake restores its original color.
“The change of the color depends on the tremendous increase of bacteria due to the decrease of the water level as we see here in the Tuz Lake or the Meke Lake in the region,” Fetullah Arık, the head of the Department of Geological Engineering.
The pinkness of the Meyil Obruk Lake, located in the Karapınar district, is a result of artemia salina bacteria, said Arık, adding some details about the sinkhole.
“The sink-hole, which has a one-kilometer diameter, is one of the oldest ones in the north region of Karapınar and is filled with underground water,” he added.
The water of the lake is salty and no creature other than the bacteria is found, according to Arık.
Saying that the status of the Meyil Obruk Lake is similar to the Tuz and Meke lakes in the region, Arik notes that the color of these lakes can also turn to red.
Elsewhere, the lake’s waters recede as temperatures rise, marking the beginning of the “salt harvest.” For about three months every year, the country’s salt producers flock to the lake’s dry areas to extract salt from deposits. The lake is a major resource of salt for the country. The salt, with a purity rate of 99%, is also exported to more than 60 countries.
Locals are of the view that as the color of the lake has turned pink, it can be inviting for the tourists to take a look at.
Tamer Efe Çar, a visitor, says he was driving next to the lake as he traveled from the capital Ankara to the southern city of Mersin and decided to stop by when he saw the strange color. “This is a natural beauty. I absolutely recommend a visit to anyone who is bored of big city life to see this beautiful landscape and calm here,” he says.