The Earth is home to some incredible sights. Here are some of the salitest places on Earth.
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13. Lake Vanda
The waters here have a salinity that is said to be at least ten times the salinity of seawater--making Lake Vanda to be considered a hypersaline body of water and has a higher salinity than the Dead Sea. Lake Vanda is located in Victoria Land, Antarctica, measuring at 8 km, or 5 miles long and 2 km, or 1.2 miles wide. It’s volume is about 160 million cubic meters, though no species of fish resides in all that water.
12. Bonneville Salt Flat
You’ve probably heard of The Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah before as it’s a pretty big tourist destination. Named after army officer and explorer Benjamin Bonneville, this salt pan in Toole County is the largest of all the salt flats in the area west of the equally as famous Great Salt Lake. The Bonneville Salt Flats, sometimes going by the name Bonneville Speedway, is also a prime location for motorcar racing, which people have been doing in the area for nearly 100 years..
11. Tsaidam Basin
This salt marsh is also the country’s largest rock bed that is surface leveled. Salt deposits are at least 15 m, or 50 ft thick, and the salt lake itself has an area of nearly 1,600 sq km. Over millions of years ago, the lake was once under the ocean, but movement in the earth’s crust is the reason the largest salt lake in China exists. The climate here is hot and dry, making it the perfect environment for salt to be produced.
This bay located in Turkmenistan has a salinity of about 35%, which is a lot when compared to the other large bodies of water in the area. The nearby Caspian sea, which only has about a 1% salinity, is separated from this strait lake by a rocky ridge.
9. Salar de Atacama
Salar de Atacama is surrounded by mountains and is the largest salt flat in Chile. It spans an area of 1,200 sq miles, making it the third largest salt flat in the world.
8. Mono Lake
This desert lake is considered a soda lake. Located in Mono County, California, Mono Lake is large but shallow, having formed almost 800,000 years ago. Brine shrimp flourish in its salty waters and since there’s no outlet for the lake, the salt just stays there, building up over time.
7. Devil’s Golf Course
With a name like that, it’s no wonder this salt lake is located in Death Valley. Actually, there was once a lake here named “Lake Manly” which has since dried up, leaving minerals that is now scattered in the salt pan of the Devil’s Golf Course--which is known for its halite salt crystal formations you see here encrusting the surface.
6. Salinas Grandes
Located in Argentina at the bottom of the Sierras de Cordoba mountain range, Salinas Grandes is a salt flat that has an altitude of 170 m above sea level. It’s surface varies from the quite flat, cracked floor to salt mounds in other parts of the flat.
5. Chott el Djerid
This endorheic salt lake in Tunisia is described as being shaped like a wolf, though its name means “Lagoon of the Land of Palms.” To make it even cooler, the salt lake will appear different colors, ranging from white to purple and even green. It’s also the largest salt pan in the Sahara Desert, spanning about 2,700 sq miles.
4. Salar de Uyuni
Everyone loves coming to Salar de Uyuni to take pictures like this for their vacation. The high salinity of the salt flat in Bolivia lets it seem mirror-like in the sun. With a measurement of 4,086 sq miles, it is the largest salt flat in the world.
3. Chaka Salt Lake
It’s nickname is “Mirror of the Sky” since in the sun, the lake can seem to shine like a giant, flat mirror. Located in the Qinghai (ching hi) Province in China, Chaka Salt Lake is not only one of the saltiest places on earth, it’s also considered to be one of the most picturesque places in the Qaidam Basin. The lake at its largest during the rainy season is 9 km long and about 15 km wide--though it’s actually quite shallow. Mining has taken place at the lake for over 3,000 years, and is still exploited for its high salt content to this day.
2. The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is the deepest hypersaline lake in the whole world and is probably one of the most well known saltiest place in history. In fact, people have been coming to visit the Dead Sea for thousands of years and is also the sight of one of the first health resorts since it’s said salt water is good for you. You’ve all seen those pictures of people taking a swim in the lake to just float since the high salt content means lots of buoyancy.
Don Juan Pond
This small hypersaline lake lies in Wright Valley, located in Antarctica. It measures up to 980 ft and has a salinity of over 40%. Though Don Juan is merely a pond and is very small and very shallow, it is also one of the saltiest--it not the saltiest--body of water on earth.