Why The Lake Is Pink

Lake Hillier, Western Australia

I came across a post on Bored Panda recently, and within it, they were raving about Lake Hillier – the pink lake.  The pictures are pretty amazing.

I was kinda jazzed, because Lake Hillier is in Western Australia, my home turf.

In fact, it’s just off the coast of Esperance, which is along the bottom of the state.

You can see it at the bottom there.  (If you’re curious, I’ve lived in two places listed on this map — Perth and Geraldton.  I’ve visited quite a few more, including Esperance. There’s a few others that don’t rate a mention on the map, though!)

Lake Hillier is actually on an island just off the coast from Esperance.

As to why the lake is pink…no one knows.  Atlas Obscura even shrugged its shoulders and gave up.   It isn’t a trick of the light, or algae, or any of the other common explanations for odd water colours.  Its just pink.  It stays pink even if you bottle the water.

When I wrote the title for this post, it reminded me of a fairytale I read many times as a kid, “Why the Sea Is Salt.”

I did some quick research on the fairytale.  It’s Norwegian, I learned, and was first collection by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe in their Norske Folkeeventyr anthology.

Andrew Lang included the English version in his 1889 book, The Blue Fairy Bookwhich is now part of the public domain, so you can read all the stories in it here, or just “Why the Sea Is Salt” here.

Back to Lake Hillier.

I can’t help thinking it would make an intriguing setting for a story, somewhere.  In particular, I’m thinking about Terror Stash, which was set in Margaret River (just around the other side of the tip of W.A., on the map).  The book was written with a sequel (or two) in mind, so I might, well, “stash” this setting as a potential one for the sequel.

Or maybe some scene will pop up in a book sooner than that, and I will remember this post and drop it in.


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Tracy Cooper-Posey
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