World’s Most Unique & Bizarre Lakes
By: nobert bermosa
The world is endowed with variety of natural wonders. Hundreds of lakes can be found from all over the world. These lakes provide beautiful sceneries and many things that are essential to ecological balance. Let’s explore the world’s most unusual and extraordinary lakes.
1. Lake Bogoria: Kenya
Lake Bogoria is best known for its thousands, sometimes millions of flamingos nesting along the shores. It is a saline, alkaline lake that lies in a volcanic region in Kenya. Lake Bogoria is home at times to one of the world’s largest populations of lesser flamingos. The lake is a Ramsar site and has been a protected National Reserve since 1973. The reserve is also famous for its geysers and hot springs.
2. Lake Vida: Antarctica
Another extremely bizarre lake in Antarctica is Lake Vida. It is isolated under year-round ice cover, and considerably more saline than seawater. It came to public attention in 2002 when microbes frozen in its ice cover for more than 2,800 years were successfully thawed and reanimated. The top waters of Lake Vida are frozen year-round to a depth of at least 19 m forming an ice-seal over briny waters that are seven times as saline as seawater. This icecap is the thickest non-glacial ice on earth. The high salinity allow for the lake bottom waters to remain liquid at an average yearly water temperature of -10°C. The ice cap has sealed the saline lake water from external air and water for thousands of
3. Lake Buhi: Philippines
Lake Buhi is a unique tropical lake serving as home of the world’s smallest edible commercial fish – the Sinarapan (Mistichthys luzonensis). It is a lake found in Camarines Sur, Philippines and has an area of 18 square kilometers and has an average depth of 8 meters. The lake lies in the valley formed by two ancient volcanoes, Mt. Iriga and Mt. Malimas. It was created in 1641, when an earthquake caused a side of Mt. Iriga to collapse. The resulting landslide created a natural dam that blocked the flow of nearby streams. Another theory suggests that it was created by the eruption of Mt. Asog which is now dormant.
4. Ohrid Lake: Yugoslavia/Albania
Lake Ohrid is another unique lake because it is feed by underground springs, which is also connected by underground channels to nearby Lake Prespa. It is located in the mountainous border between Yugoslavia and Albania. It is probably the oldest lake in Europe, preserving a unique aquatic ecosystem with more than 200 endemic species that is of worldwide importance. Lake Ohrid is about 340 sq km or 130 sq mi in area. Its picturesque setting and good beaches, as well as the medieval ruins on its shores, make Lake Ohrid a resort center. It was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1979.
Satellite view of Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa
5. Lake Baikal: Russia
Lake Baikal called “The Pearl of Siberia” or “Blue Eye of Siberia” is unique because it contains more water than all the North American Great Lakes combined and at 1,637 meters (5,371 ft) is the deepest lake in the world and the largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, holding approximately 20% of the world’s total fresh water. It is unique among large, high-latitude lakes in that its sediments have not been scoured by overriding continental ice sheets.
Baikal is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, two thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. At more than 25 million years old, it is the oldest lake in the world. Lake Baikal is in Southern Siberia in Russia.
6. Lake Beloye: Russia
Another extremely bizarre lake in Russia is Beloye Lake. It is a large freshwater lake and it lies approximately 300 meters from the village of Bolotnikovo. In May, 2005, the lake disappeared overnight for unknown reasons. It’s speculated that the lake may have drained into an underground river or cave system due to subsidence. Seventy years prior to 2005’s disappearance, several houses were razed in similar circumstances.
7. Lake Waiau: Hawaii, USA
Lake Waiau is a high-elevation lake and is one of the highest lakes in the world (higher than Lake Titicaca). It is relatively small, only about 100 m across, and varies in size as the water level rises and falls. At high water levels a small outlet stream appears at the northwest end, but it is absorbed into the ground after a short distance. The name means “swirling water” in Hawaiian, though it is usually rather placid. It usually freezes in winter, but aquatic insects such as midges and beetles can be found breeding in the water.
It is weird and unique for a number of reasons, aside from being one of the highest lakes in the world; the lake sits on an active volcano. It is also the highest known body of water to ever have been snorkeled. It is located at 13,020 feet or 3,970 m above sea level on Mauna Kea, on the island of Hawaii.
8. Lake Balkhash: Kazakhstan
Lake Balkhash is a bizarre lake because the western half of the lake is fresh water, while the eastern half is saline. The lake currently covers 16,996 km² (6,562 sq mi), but, like the Aral Sea, it is shrinking because of the diversion of water from the rivers that feed it. It is a lake in southeastern Kazakhstan and the second largest in Central Asia after the Aral Sea.
9. Caspian Sea: Russia/Iran/Azerbaijan/Kazakhstan/Turkmenistan
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world’s largest lake or a full-fledged sea. It has a surface area of 371,000 sq km (143,244 sq mi) and a volume of 78,200 cubic kilometers (18,761 cu mi). It is an endorheic body of water (has no outflows), and lies between the southern areas of the Russian Federation and northern Iran. It has a maximum depth of about 1025 meters (3,363 ft).
10. Great Salt Lake: Utah, USA
Great Salt Lake is another unique lake and has been called “America’s Dead Sea”; the lake provides habitat for millions of native birds, brine shrimps, shorebirds, and waterfowls the world. It is located in the northern part of the US state of Utah and considered as the largest salt lake in the western hemisphere and the fourth-largest terminal lake in the world. Because of its unusually high salt concentration, most people can easily float in the lake as a result of the higher density of the water, particularly in the saltier north arm of the lake, Gunnison Bay. The lake’s shallow, warm waters cause frequent, sometimes heavy lake-effect snows during late fall, early winter, and spring.
11. Lake Victoria: Kenya/Uganda/Tanzania
The attractive and beautiful Lake Victoria is 68,800 square kilometers (26,560 mi²) in size, making it Africa’s largest lake and the largest tropical lake in the world. It is also the second widest fresh water lake in the world in terms of surface area. It is the source of the longest branch of the River Nile, the White Nile. It is a biological hotspot with great biodiversity. Lake Victoria has dried up completely three times since it formed. These drying cycles are probably related to past ice ages, which are times when precipitation declined globally. The lake last dried out 17,300 years ago, and filled again beginning 14,700 years ago; the fantastic adaptive radiation of its native cichlids has taken place in the short period of time since then.
12. Lake Monoun: Cameroon
Lake Monoun is an unusual lake in Cameroon that lies in the Oku Volcanic Field. In 1984, the lake exploded in a limnic eruption, which resulted in the release of a large amount of carbon dioxide that killed 37 people. At first, the cause of the deaths was a mystery, and causes such as terrorism were suspected. Further investigation and a similar event two years later at Lake Nyos led to the currently accepted explanation.
13. Lake Nyos: Cameroon
Another bizarre lake found in Cameroon is Lake Nyos. It is a crater lake and is a deep lake high on the flank of an inactive volcano in the Oku volcanic plain along the Cameroon line of volcanic activity. A natural dam of volcanic rock hems in the lake waters. A pocket of magma lies beneath the lake and leaks carbon dioxide (CO2) into the water, changing it into carbonic acid. Nyos is one of only three known lakes to be saturated with carbon dioxide in this way, the others being Lake Monoun, at a distance of 100 km SSE, and Lake Kivu in Rwanda. In 1986, possibly triggered by a landslide, the lake suddenly emitted a large cloud of CO2, which suffocated 1,700 people and 3,500 livestock in nearby villages. Though not completely unprecedented, it was the first known large-scale asphyxiation caused by a natural event. To prevent a repetition, a degassing tube that siphons water from the bottom layers of water to the top allowing the carbon dioxide to leak in safe quantities was installed in 2001, though additional tubes are needed to make the lake safe.
14. Lake George: Australia
Lake George or Weerewaa, in the indigenous language, is a unique lake in Australia. It is renowned for emptying and filling on a cyclical basis, and for the treachery of its waters when full (a number of people have drowned).
15. Lake Mertzbacher: Kyrgyzstan
Another lake, Lake Mertzbacher in Kyrgyzstan, is another bizarre lake that regularly empties itself, despite having no obvious outlet. They refer to the lake as: Mystique and unique, vanishing at the end of the summer and appearing again next year.
16. Lake Magadi: Kenya
Lake Magadi is a saline, alkaline lake in the Kenya Rift Valley lying in a faulted volcanic rocks north east of Lake Natron. During the dry season, it is 80% covered by soda and is well known for its wading birds, including flamingos. The lake water, which is dense sodium carbonate brine, precipitates vast quantities of the mineral trona (sodium sesquicarbonate). In places, the salt is up to 40 m thick. The lake is recharged mainly by saline hot springs (temperatures up to 86°C) that discharge into alkaline “lagoons” around the lake margins, there being little surface runoff in this arid region. During the rainy season a thin layer of brine covers much of the saline pan, but this evaporates rapidly leaving a vast expanse of white salt that cracks to produce large polygons. A single species of fish, a cichlid, Alcolapia grahami, inhabits the hot, highly alkaline waters of this lake basin and is commonly seen in some of the hot spring pools around the shoreline where the water temperature is less than 45°C.
17. Lake Turkana: Kenya/Tanzania /Uganda
Lake Turkana is another unique lake located in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya with its far northern end crossing into Ethiopia. It is the world’s largest permanent desert lake and the world’s largest alkaline lake. The water is potable but not palatable. It supports a rich lacustrine wildlife. On-shore and off-shore winds can be extremely strong as the lake warms and cools more slowly than the land. Sudden, violent storms are frequent. Three rivers flow into the lake, but lacking outflow its only water loss is by evaporation. Lake Turkana National Parks are now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
18. Lake Bangweulu: Zambia
Bangweulu – “where the water sky meets the sky” – is one of the world’s great wetland systems, comprising Lake Bangweulu, the Bangweulu Swamps and the Bangweulu Flats or floodplain. Situated in the upper Congo River basin in Zambia, the Bangweulu system covers an almost completely flat area at an elevation of 1,140 m. It is crucial to the economy and biodiversity of northern Zambia, and to the birdlife of a much larger region.
With a long axis of 75 km and a width of up to 40 km, Lake Bangweulu’s permanent open water surface is about 3,000 km², which expands when its swamps and floodplains are in flood at the end of the rainy season in May. The combined area of the lake and wetlands reaches 15,000 km². The lake has an average depth of only 4 m.
19. Lake Tonle Sap: Cambodia
The Tonle Sap is unusual for two reasons: First, its flow changes direction twice a year, and second, the portion that forms the lake expands and shrinks dramatically with the seasons. From November to May, Cambodia’s dry season, the Tonle Sap drains into the Mekong River. In June, however, when the year’s heavy rains begin, the Tonle Sap backs up to form an enormous lake.
The Tonle Sap large body of water (Cambodian meaning “Large Fresh Water River,” but more commonly translated as “Great Lake”) is a combined lake and river system of huge importance to Cambodia. It is the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia and is an ecological hotspot that was designated as a UNESCO biosphere in 1997. The lake occupies a depression created due to the geological stress induced by the collision of the Indian subcontinent with Asia.
20. Lake Suwa: Japan
Lake Suwa is a unique lake in the central part of Nagano Prefecture, Japan. Lake Suwa is the site of o-miwatari, an interesting natural phenomenon. The lake has a natural hot spring under the surface, so that when the top freezes in the winter, the lower waters are still warm and circulating. This results in pressure ridges forming in the ice, reaching heights of 30 cm or more. Local belief holds that the pressure ridges are formed by the gods crossing the lake, traveling between the various buildings of Suwa Taisha.
21. Mondsee Lake: Austria
Do you want to own a lake? Here’s your biggest chance. Mondsee is a lake in Austria. What makes this lake unique? Well, Drachenwand (Dragonwall) at the southern shore of the lake is an impressive sight. Aside from that, in 1864, remains of Neolithic pile dwellings were discovered in the lake. And lastly, Mondsee is one of Austria’s last privately-owned lakes. Here’s the interesting news, in August of 2008, Nicolette Waechter (owner) announced it was up for sale.
22. Laguna Verde: Bolivia
The Laguna Verde is well known for its spectacular scenery and hot springs. Likewise, Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon), a salt lake in Bolivia, on the Chilean border at the foot of the volcano Licancabur, is unique because of its color. Its color is caused by sediments, containing copper minerals. It is elevated some 4,300 m (14,000 ft) above sea level.
23. Lake Annecy: France
Lake Annecy is a remarkable lake in France not only because it is the second largest lake in France but it is the “cleanest lake in Europe.” It is known as “Europe’s cleanest lake” because of strict environmental regulations introduced in the 1960s. It is a popular tourist destination known for its swimming and water sports. The lake was formed about 18,000 years ago at the time the large alpine glaciers. It is fed by many small rivers from the surrounding mountains and from a powerful underwater source, the Boubioz, which enters at 82 m depth.
24. Lac de Vallon: France
Lac de Vallon is a lake in France. The lake is unusual because it was formed in 1943 when a landslide blocked the course of the Brevon River.
25. Lake Kivesjarvi: Finland
Kivesjarvi is a lake in Paltamo, Finland. Its average depth is four meters and the deepest point is sixteen meters deep. There is a village of the same name on the coast of the lake. The lake’s area is 27 square kilometers. It is the 136th biggest lake in Finland. The lake has many islands and islets. What makes the lake unique is its name; curiously, the name literally means “Testicle Lake”.
26. Jokulsarlon Lake: Iceland
Jokulsarlon is the best known and the largest of a number of glacial lakes in Iceland. Appearing first only in 1934-1935, the lake grew from 7.9 km² in 1975 to at least 18 km² today because of heavy melting of the Icelandic glaciers. This lake is remarkable because a number of films have had scenes shot at Jokulsarlon, including Beowulf and Grendel, Tomb Raider, Die Another Day (James Bond)), Batman Begins and A View to a Kill (James Bond)).
27. Lake Ac?gol: Turkey
See image here .
The lake is notable for its sodium sulfate reserves extensively used in the industry and Turkey’s largest commercial sodium sulfate production operations are based here. The lake is estimated to contain 12.5 million mt of sodium sulfate in the surface and in the subsurface brine, with probable total reserves of 70 million mt, and possible reserves of 82 million mt. The yearly production rate in late 1990s was 100,000 tons. The lake’s altitude is 836 m and it is fed primarily by high-sulfate springs issuing from a fault line on its south side. The name of this lake literally means “the bitter lake”.
28. Symphony Lake: Singapore
Symphony Lake is an unusual lake in the Singapore Botanic Gardensin Singapore. An artificial lake, it features a large stage known as the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage built on an islet in the middle of the water body. The stage is most known as the venue for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s monthly SSO in the Park open-concept concerts, hence giving the lake its name.
29. Lake Superior: Canada/USA
Lake Superior is the largest of the five Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by Ontario, Canada and Minnesota, US, and to the south by the US states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is unique because it is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area.
30. Lake Heviz: Hungary
Lake Heviz in Hungary is notable because it is the largest thermal lake in the world with an area of 47,500 sq m. The flow of water is very strong and the lake is believed to be completely replenished each day. The waters are reputed to have curative effects, and there is a thriving health tourism industry in the area. The fauna and flora are unique in Lake Heviz due to the temperature and chemical composition of the water, which is slightly radioactive and contains reduced sulfuric compounds as well as oxygen in solution. Several species so far can be found only in this lake.
Nature has so much beauty and wonder to offer. Hope you enjoyed reading these extraordinary features of lakes from the different spots of the Earth. (Details and information on these lakes were taken from Wikipedia).
For more unique and bizarre lakes from around the world see;