Ah, lakes! Great for fishing, swimming, and paddling. Or… maybe not. From creature features to melt-your-skin salty, these lakes are among Earth’s weirdest bodies of water.
Take a peek at Spotted Lake. It's in British Columbia. Does it remind you of your favorite polka-dot pajamas?
Spotted Lake fills a low spot in one of Canada’s deserts. The lake is a dead end. Water rich in minerals from rain and melting snow flows in. But very little flows out.
In summer, most of the water evaporates. It leaves behind a rainbow of mineral pools. One mineral forms a white crust that surrounds the pools like a patio.
Canada’s First Nations people think the lake has healing powers. One legend even says that during a battle, both sides took a break to heal their wounds together in these waters!
Poison or Paradise?
Don’t bother taking a dip in Lake Natron, Tanzania. In the dry season, most of the water evaporates anyway. What’s left is hotter than bathwater and red from bacteria. It’s also super salty from minerals. The water is so harsh it will burn your skin.
Besides, you’d have to compete with two million loud, smelly Lesser flamingos. They are at home here. Little islands of salt stick up from the lake bed. The islands are great places for the flamingos to build nests. The poisonous water around them keeps the nests safe. A predator looking for a snack could end up dead. What protects the flamingos? Their leathery legs keep them safe from the water.
Big, bold, cold, and beautiful. That’s Lake Baikal, Russia: Earth’s deepest. It’s more than 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) deep and 636 kilometers (395 miles) long. More than 300 rivers feed it. This huge lake contains a fifth of the planet’s liquid freshwater.
Besides being big, Lake Baikal is also Earth’s oldest lake. It dates back 25 million years. The lake is home to 1,500 species. Many are found nowhere else on Earth.
The lake’s most famous animal is the nerpa. The nerpa is the only seal that lives only in freshwater. One of its favorite foods is a little pink fish. This fish is partly transparent! Look closely, and you might spot one swimming along. Lake Baikal is one of Earth's clearest lakes, too.