Salt lake in Australian park turns bright pink

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   March 8, 2017 at 10:47 AM

March 8 (UPI) -- Parks officials in Victoria, Australia, are warning visitors to a popular park to avoid contact with a salt lake that has turned bright pink.

Parks Victoria said the salt lake in Melbourne's Westgate Park has turned pink, a natural phenomenon that has occurred before "in response to very high salt levels, high temperatures, sunlight and lack of rainfall."

"Algae growing in the salt crust at the bottom of the lake produces the red pigment (beta carotene) as part of its photosynthesis process and in response to the extremely high salt levels," Parks Victoria said in a Facebook post.

The group warned visitors not to drink or touch the pink water.

"Enjoy the views, but we recommend you don't come into contact with the water," the post said. "The lake is expected to return to its normal color towards winter, when the weather cools and rainfall increases."

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