WTF: Lake In France Turns Blood Red [Pics]

Dusten Carlson

Natural bodies of water like lakes and rivers turning blood red sounds like something apocalyptic straight out of the Bible, but a lake in southern France displaying this phenomenon has a perfectly natural explanation for it: salt.

A lake in the Camargue in southern France, a river delta right where the Rhône meets the sea, turned blood red, causing some panic. But fear not: scientists are saying that the color is due to a natural phenomenon, and not a chilling portent of doom, reports NY Daily. A high concentration of salt taking the form of salt flats caused the water to run an eerie blood red color, says scientists.

The salt build-up can be seen on plants, rock formations, and beaches in photographs snapped by Russian photographer Sam Dobson. The strange and eerie photos, seen here, were described by the photographer thusly:

"Every small branch is covered with crystals. with the red water as a background it looks like something extra-terrestrial," said Dobson of the strange phenomenon. “I was just overwhelmed with emotions the whole time I was there. Despite my numerous travels, I have never seen anything like this before.”
"The strawberry [color] is produced by salt-loving organism Dunaliella salina. They produce a red pigment that absorbs and uses the energy of sunlight to create more energy, turning the water pink," Michael Danson, a bacteria expert from Bath University said. "Lakes like Retba and the Dead Sea, which have high salt concentrations, were once thought to be incompatible with life - hence the names. But they are very much alive."

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