Top salt lakes of the world
There are many famous salt lakes in the world that contain a significant concentration of salts and minerals, each of them fascinating in their own way. Which lakes are considered the saltiest? Well, let’s find out, shall we?
1. Great Salt Lake – Utah, USA
The Great Salt Lake is a lake with a very high saline level and is considered to be the ‘Dead Sea of America.’ Located in the northern part of Utah, it is the largest salt lake in the western hemisphere. Why is the lake salty, you ask? It is because it doesn’t have an outlet; when tributary rivers are constantly bringing in small amounts of salt dissolved in their freshwater flow, the water evaporates which leaves behind the salt.
2. Qinghai Lake – China
Qinghai Lake (or Tsongon Po) is the largest lake in China. Located in the north-eastern Qinghai-Tibet plateau, it is a popular destination for tourists. Its high altitude is the reason why it’s cool there; even in summer, the temperature averages a mere 15 degrees Celsius.
3. Lake Urmia – Iran
A salt lake in north-western Iran lies near to its border with Turkey. It is considered the largest lake in the Middle East and sixth largest saltwater lake on earth. Since the 1970s, it has shrunk by nearly 90%, so be quick if you want to visit!
4. Lake Eyre – Australia
Lake Eyre in Australia is the lowest point in the country and occasionally, the 18th largest lake in the world. The reason behind the intermittent position on the list for the largest lakes in the world is because it’s located in the desert, filling with fresh water only during the rainy season. Once the six-month dry season starts and the fresh water evaporates, the salinity increases causing death to native freshwater fish.
5. Lake Van – Turkey
Lake Van is the largest lake in Turkey and became an endorheic lake (with no outlet into the sea) when lava cut off the outflow a few million years ago. The lake is so salty that only one fish, the pearl mullet, thrives there. As there are rumours of a 15-metre sea monster named Van Gölü Canavari and over 1,000 people claim to have seen it, there is a statue that is erected on the lake’s eastern shore.
6. Lake Assal – Djibouti
Located in the crater, the salt Lake Assal is the lowest point of Africa. It is so salty that it is considered to be the second saltiest lake and salt reserve in the world. If you’re considering swimming in it, don't - salt drying on your skin will give you a painful itching.
7. Chott el Djerid – Tunisia
Chott el Djerid is a high saline area located in Tunisia and is considered to be the largest salt pan of the Sahara. It’s dry for the most part of the year but when it fills with water, many colours are to be seen, such as white, green or purple. The fun fact about Chott el Djerid is that it was used as a filming location for the popular Star Wars series.