PHOTO: Argentina Lake Turns Bright Pink from Pollution

by Madison Miller

New photos reveal a lake in Argentina’s southern Patagonia area that has turned a shockingly unnatural pink color.

The pink is so bright and vibrant that it almost looks like a purposeful dye, similar to the Chicago River’s bright green look for St. Patrick’s Day each year.

Argentina Lake Turns Pink

However, this coloring in Argentina is actually caused by harmful pollution. Scientists have discovered that the pink abnormality is caused by sodium sulfite, which is a product used in fish factories.

According to Today Online, this chemical present helps to preserve prawns for export. Fish factories rely on the water for their business. However, this lagoon also feeds the Chubut river, which is not also facing contamination risks. Several water sources in the region are now facing contamination risks.

It’s not an uncommon occurrence in the area. Unfortunately, locals have always complained of smells and environmental disfigurements in the area. This pink water is the result of fishing businesses taking harmful shortcuts. The sodium sulfite present in fish waste should be treated prior to being dumped. It’s the law.

While this pink abnormality is a result of pollution and harmful practices, there are some pink lakes that are natural. This includes Laguna Colorada in Bolivia, Lake Hillier in Australia, Hutt Lagoon in Australia, Las Salinas de Torrevieja in Spain, and Lake Retba in Senegal.

Most lakes with the pink coloring are salt lakes. Scientists believe that high salinity is part of the reasoning for the coloring. Each lake is different, but oftentimes this salt level makes it so different microbes can grow and function.

Colorado Air Pollution

While the pink water is an obvious indicator of pollution in the Argentina area, areas of the U.S. also continue to suffer from different kinds of pollution.

Colorado, for example, just spiked 48% above the federal limit for its ozone air pollution.

Visitors of the state likely have noticed the haze that appears along Colorado’s Front Range this summer. According to The Denver Post, the average ozone pollution has been increasing these past two years.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will likely make the air quality status “severe” instead of “serious” soon. Those who live or are visiting the state may see restrictions on car travel and gas may go up a few cents so that gas can be re-blended into a cleaner-burning mix.

The smoke that has come from increased wildfires throughout the West directly contributes to the ozone spike. According to CNN, there are dozens of wildfires across the U.S. There are counties in California and Nevada that are declaring a state of emergency. The nation’s largest fire is the Bootleg Fire in Oregon, which has burned over 401,601 acres since July 6.