The Lonar Lake of Buldhana district is located 500 kms away from Mumbai. It is a famous tourist spot and also attracts scientists from all over the world. According to some researches, this lake was formed after a meteorite hit the earth some 56,000 years ago. In a sudden turn of events on 11th June 2020, the locals of Buldhana reported that the lake has changed its color and has turned PINK overnight! This has not only surprised locals but also nature enthusiasts and scientists.
According to the reports of the PTI, Gajanan Kharat, member of the Lonar Lake Conservation and Development Committee, told them that the lake, which is a notified national geo-heritage monument has saline water with a pH of 10.5 and, there are algae living in the water body which along with the high salinity of water might be the reason for the change in the color of the lake. He further mentioned that there is no oxygen below the lake’s water surface. Also, there is a lake in Iran (Umria Lake) where water becomes reddish due to an increase in salinity.
Some experts have also brought to our attention that due to the high alkaline level of the water body there is a high concentration of carbonate level which might have resulted in the growth of a family of bacteria called Halobacteriaceae. These organisms are known to thrive in highly saline conditions and produce a red pigment that absorbs sunlight and converts it into energy.
The other possibility that the experts and scientists are pointing towards is the presence of Dunaliella Algae, the same algae present in the Umria Lake of Iran. This algae produces carotenoid, a red color pigment responsible for the orange or red color of carrots. While some researchers believe that this change might be due to some human intervention but, some researchers stand strongly against it.
Researches and Scientists are still figuring out the exact cause for this change. And, we can’t deny nature has showed us her another miracle.