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Thanks to the weather, this inner city lake has turned pink

Rebecca Russo

No, that’s not photoshop. Westgate Park, located on the edge of the city in Port Melbourne, has turned a delicious shade of pink.  

This vibrant wetland and nature sanctuary sits under the Westgate Bridge. The pink hue is a natural phenomenon and happens in response to high salt levels, lots of sunlight and a lack of rainfall.  

Parks Victoria said on Facebook that "the salt lakes turn pink due to the natural interaction of a harmless, single cell alga (Dunaliella salina) and a harmless halobacterium (Halobacteria cutirubrum). Given the right conditions, D. salina growing in the salt crust at the bottom of the lake produces the red pigment (beta carotene) which absorbs and uses the energy of sunlight needed to keep salt out of their cytoplasm." 

Luckily the pink colour has no impact on birdlife on the lake. If you’re going to visit the lake, Parks Victoria advises that you stay to designated paths and avoid walking on the edge of the lake, as it may be unstable. There’s no indication that the bacteria is dangerous but it’s probably best you don’t come into contact with the water just in case.

 Pretty, right?

A post shared by Emily Goy (@emmy_goy) on

Looking for more pink lakes in Victoria? Here’s another that’s equally as impressive.

Here are more surreal looking places you wouldn’t expect to be in Victoria.

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