Plitvice Lakes in Croatia
Sixteen cascading bodies of water called the Plitvice Lakes are divided into upper and lower basins by dams made of moss, algae and bacteria. The surrounding setting is heavily forested and home to a multitude of animal life, including brown bears, eagles and approximately 140 bird species. In varying colors of azure, green, gray and blue, the lakes make up the Plitvice Lakes National Park, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979 for its outstanding natural beauty. Photo courtesy of Travel-2-Croatia.com.
Laguna Colorada in Bolivia
Speckled with white borax isles, the Laguna Colorada also referred to as the Red Lagoon or Red Lake is a shallow salt lake in southwest Bolivia. Red in color due to sediments and pigmented algae, it attracts a rare Chilean breed of feathered flamingo friends that feed on bacteria at the bottom of the lake and thrive amidst the protected habitat. Photo courtesy of Ian Cowe via Flickr.com.
This landlocked lake in Southwest Asia, which sits at the lowest dry-land elevation on the earth s surface, is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean making it one of the world s saltiest bodies of water. Its closed drainage system, which allows no outflow (water levels are balanced by evaporation or seepage), creates conditions too harsh for animals to survive in, thus its name. However, the Dead Sea is believed to have powerful health benefits for humans due to the mineral content, lack of pollens and allergens, reduced solar radiation and higher atmospheric pressure. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Spotted Lake in Canada
In Osoyoos, British Columbia, there is a 38-acre natural phenomenon called Spotted Lake though some still refer to by its Native Indian name, Klikuk. Containing one of the world's highest concentrations of minerals, including magnesium sulfate, calcium and sodium sulfate, the lake s mud is used by residents of Okanagan Valley to heal aches and pains. As summer progresses, the lake dries out and its pools of minerals form white, pale yellow, green and blue circles. The lake is on private land, and is therefore not publicly accessible, but can be viewed from a nearby highway. Photo courtesy of Rammed Earth via Flickr.com.
Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and Peru
Lake Titicaca boasts three major physical distinctions: It s located on the border of Peru and Bolivia; it sits at the highest point above sea level of any lake in the world; and is, by volume, the largest lake in South America. Though it s fed by rainfall, melted water from glaciers, five major rivers and 20 small streams, water doesn t flow out as easily as it does in. Nearly a closed lake with just one single outlet at the Rio Desaguadero the majority of its water input is balanced out by evaporation. Photo courtesy of Adam Jones, PhD, via Flickr.com.
Pitch Lake in Trinidad
Pitch Lake, the biggest nature-made deposit of asphalt in the world, is located in La Brea, Trinidad. Not just a beautiful landmark, the body of water which is spotted with several isles of asphalt is a main source for cement export companies, and is used in both Trinidad and Tobago to pave roads. Attracting nearly 20,000 visitors a year, the lake is thought to be located over two tectonic fault lines in the Caribbean Plate, resulting in an inlet for oil which, after lighter components evaporated, left behind the weightier asphalt. Photo courtesy of Frank Julien Felix via Flickr.com.
Five-Flower Lake in China
Jiuzhaigou Valley is a nature reserve in southwestern China known for its waterfalls and lakes. The preserve s prized possession is the Five-Flower Lake the most awe-inspiring of all of its bodies of water. Its vast color palette (azure blue, blackish green and light yellow) is caused by calcium carbonate as well as hydrophytes, which also leave the water crystal-clear. From above, visitors can see fallen tree trunks scattered across the bottom, laid out in a magnificent maze. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Lake Nakuru in Kenya
Protected within the borders of Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya, Lake Nakuru which means "dust or dusty place" in the native language of Maasai boasts an abundance of blue-green algae, which attracts a myriad of pretty pink flamingos. Pollution and drought continue to destroy the avian feeding ground, forcing the flamingos to relocate to nearby lakes; however, boasting over 400 resident bird species, it still remains one of the greatest bird-watching spots on earth. Photo courtesy of Mircea Giurca via journeyetc.com
Kelimutu Crater Lakes in Indonesia
Atop a stratovolcano in Flores one of the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia sit three crater lakes: Tiwu Ata Mbupu (Lake of Old People), Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Bewitched or Enchanted Lake). Each lake is distinct in appearance, chemical makeup and historical sequence of color. Typically green, red, black or blue, each lake s hue is controlled by changes in external conditions (though neighboring villages have their own myths revolving around immersed souls of the deceased). Their colors are most apparent in the morning, as the sun shines on them from above. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Boiling Lake in Dominica
Bubbling with grayish-blue water, the Boiling Lake located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park on the Caribbean island of Dominica is the second largest hot spring in the world. Approximately 200 feet wide, the lake experiences dramatic fluctuations in activity and is only accessible by foot. Fun fact: In 2007, Canadian adventurer George Kourounis crossed the lake for Angry Planet, a Canadian reality-based television show. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.