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Lake Retba in Senegal

A boat floats on what looks like a huge strawberry milk-lake.

The wooden vessels were photographed from the air bobbing on Lake Retba, in Senegal.

From above the mass of water - which spans one square mile - looks staggeringly similar to a giant milkshake.

And just like the Dead Sea swimmers are even able to FLOAT on the water with ease.

The bizarre colour is caused by high levels of salt - with some areas containing up to 40% of the condiment.

Michael Danson, an expert in extremophile bacteria from Bath University, said: “The strawberry colour is produced by salt-loving organism Dunaliella salina.

"They produce a red pigment that absorbs and uses the energy of sunlight to create more energy, turning the water pink.

"Lakes like Retba and the Dead Sea, which have high salt concentrations, were once thought to be incompatible with life - hence the names. But they are very much alive."

Salt collectors can often be seen scouring the expanse to remove the valuable mineral - but first have to coat their skin with sheer butter.

This helps protect their skin from exposure to the intense salt levels in the three metre deep lake.

Salt crystals cling to the bodies of miners who work the lake everyday to extract its contents.

And towering piles of collected salt litter the shoreline.

Villagers then process it before selling and using the valuable mineral. (via)

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