A 56000-year-old Lake, Lonar Crater Sanctuary, in Buldhana district in Maharashtra, has mysteriously turned red.
The strange development has since become the burning topic among the naturalists, scientists, and the forest department.
According to Times of India, this lake is situated inside the Deccan Plateau, a massive plain of basalt rock. With a size of 66.3 square kilometers, the lake is the part of Lonar Sanctuary.
It is located around 500 km away from Mumbai and is an attraction for the tourists who flock to this place. Scientists have other reasons to take an interest in this lake.
Another reason that makes the lake more prominent is that it resulted from a collision of a celestial body into the Earth. Some 56000 years ago, a meteor or asteroid might hit the Earth on this place.
According to Deputy Conservative Forest, MN Khairnar, “It was the first that the color of the lake changed so dramatically. Sample from its water will be taken to determine the reason for the mysterious change of its color.”
However, according to some experts, the water of the lake is so saline, which means a high concentration of carbonate salts that led to the growth of a specific kind of bacteria.
“Perhaps, it’s that bacteria that turned the watercolor into pinkish, which created energy after absorbing sunlight. The existence of a huge number of bacteria in the lake and the resulting energy has brought about the pink color of the lake.”
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Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR) field director MS Reddy say that scientists have reached a conclusion that the lake level decreases during the dry season, which results in increased salinity in the remaining water.
This increased salinity and the increased temperature of water lead to the growth of Dunaliella algae that although it appears green, it can assume red color due to increased salinity and brightness. The same protective carotenoids it produces are also found in carrots.
Arun Mapari is an activist who wants to ensure the conservation of Lonar Lake. According to him, “The scientists have yet to understand the water of the lake fully, and its unique color.”
However, most of them think that the red color of the 56000-year-old lake has something to do with this specific algae.
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