Ah, lakes! Great for fishing, swimming, and paddling. Or… maybe not. From polka‑dot water to salt that melts your skin, these lakes are among Earth’s weirdest bodies of water.

Seeing Spots

Take a peek at Spotted Lake, 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 flows in. But nothing flows out. In summer, most of the water evaporates. It leaves behind many small pools filled with minerals.

Canada’s First Nations people thought the lake had healing powers. Feeling ill? Take a dip in the pools!

Spotted Lake, British Columbia, Canada

Lake Natron, Tanzania, Africa


Poison or Paradise?

Don’t bother taking a dip in Lake Natron, Tanzania. In the dry season, most of the water evaporates. What’s left is hotter than bathwater and red from bacteria living in the water. The water is so salty, it will burn your skin.

You’d also have to compete with millions of flamingos. The water doesn't bother them. They build their nests there. The poisonous water around them keeps their young safe from predators. What protects the flamingos? Their leathery legs!

Extreme Lake

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 (400 miles) long. This huge lake contains a fifth of the planet’s liquid freshwater.

Lake Baikal is also Earth’s oldest lake. It dates back 25 million years. The lake is home to some 1,500 speciesmany found nowhere else on Earth, like the nerpa. The nerpa is the only seal that lives only in freshwater.

Lake Baikal, Russia