World's Strangest Lakes

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Boiling, disappearing, Pepto-Bismol pink: The water’s anything but fine at these strange lakes from Trinidad to Thailand.

Laguna Colorada, Bolivia

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A lake so surreal in color, Salvador Dalí himself might have dreamed it up. More likely, this russet-red lake fueled the imagination of the great mustachioed painter, who once traveled to this far reach of Bolivia, now called Dalí Valley, looking for inspiration. The burgundy color is derived from plankton, red algae, and a trove of other microorganisms that serve as food for the lake’s other outstanding feature—the rare puna flamingo, whose presence makes the place seem something like a mash-up of Mars and the Caribbean. It’s one of three cold-weather flamingo species that speckle their tropical pink hues over the otherwise forbidding landscape: a 23-square-mile stretch of water beneath titanic maroon mountains, at a windswept 14,000 feet above sea level.

World's Strangest Lakes

Laguna Colorada, Bolivia

A lake so surreal in color, Salvador Dalí himself might have dreamed it up. More likely, this russet-red lake fueled the imagination of the great mustachioed painter, who once traveled to this far reach of Bolivia, now called Dalí Valley, looking for inspiration. The burgundy color is derived from plankton, red algae, and a trove of other microorganisms that serve as food for the lake’s other outstanding feature—the rare puna flamingo, whose presence makes the place seem something like a mash-up of Mars and the Caribbean. It’s one of three cold-weather flamingo species that speckle their tropical pink hues over the otherwise forbidding landscape: a 23-square-mile stretch of water beneath titanic maroon mountains, at a windswept 14,000 feet above sea level.

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