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Unique and Fascinating Lakes Around the World

Submitted by on August 4, 2009 – 10:20 am10 Comments

Nature is certainly fascinating and this list of ten unique lakes around the world proves it. Each of the ten lakes listed below has at least one unique quality. There are certainly many unusual lakes in the world, but these are just a sampling of good ones worth checking out. Also, click here for an interesting look at the changing water levels of lakes around the world as observed by NASA.

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Lake Atitlan, in the Guatemalan highlands, is said to be the deepest lake in Central America at up to 340 meters. It fills much of the Atitlan Caldera and is flanked by three volcanoes on the south end making for a spectacular scene, especially at sunrise and sunset. What’s also special about this lake is that it is dotted with Mayan villages along the lakefront. Each village is unique as evidenced by each village’s unique pattern and vibrant colors of their textiles as well as their unique traditions. You can visit the different villages by boat across the lake; a peaceful journey with views of local Mayan fisherman along the water’s edge.

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Lake McKenzie, Fraser Island, Australia
Located on Fraser Island in Queensland, the world’s largest sand island, Lake McKenzie is one of the most beautiful fresh water lakes I’ve seen. Its crystal-clear, turquoise blue waters are stunning and serene. It is a perched lake sitting atop hardened organic matter preventing the waters from seeping through the sand. The lake’s beaches are composed of silica making for a striking white sand. The scene is one you’d expect to see on the coast of a Caribbean island rather than a lake in the middle of an island. If you hire a self-drive vehicle, you can visit the lake and have it all to yourself or perhaps share it with the indigenous dingos. For the less adventurous or for those who don’t care to learn to drive stick on a giant 4WD vehicle, plenty of organized tours are also available on the island.

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Taal Lake, Luzon, Phillipines
Taal Lake is a freshwater lake on the island of Luzon. Within the lake sits another island where the smallest active volcano in the world, Taal Volcano, sits. The lake is about 30 miles from Manila and the volcano is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Inside the Taal Volcano’s crater sits another lake known as Crater Lake. Inside this lake sits yet another island known as Vulcan Point. Follow me? Island-Lake-Island-Volcano-Lake-Island. It reminds me of one of those Russian nesting dolls. Taal Lake is safe to swim in, but a brief dip in Crater Lake is all that’s recommended as the sulfur is overwhelming.

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Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
This is a lake I went to visit when I was about eight years old and the visual that sits in my mind is as vivid as the scene itself. Lake Louise is part of Banff National Park and is located an hour and a half drive from Calgary. Located in the Canadian Rockies at over 5000 feet above sea level, Lake Louise is a glacial lake. It’s a brilliant green-blue color and the mountainous and glacier backdrop make it very picturesque. Canoes are for rent at the lake, but be sure not to capsize as the water temperature is just above freezing in the summertime.

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Spotted Lake, Klikuk, British Columbia, Canada
Thanks to Spot Cool Stuff for this one. Accurately described by Spot Cool Stuff as something out of a Dr. Seuss Book, the lake sits on privately owned land, so you have to be content with the good view from the highway. You’ll find the Spotted Lake about 9 kilometers west of Osoyoos on Highway 3 in Klikuk. The reason for the spots? The water is full of naturally occurring minerals including epsom salts, calcium and magnesium. Therefore, in the warm, dry summer when the water evaporates, it crystallizes making white-ringed spots visible. The white rings and the water take on color changes depending on the sun’s position throughout the day. Interesting to note, Spot Cool Stuff tells us, “Following Highway 3 from Keremeos to Osoyoos you should be able to see at least three other spotted lakes on the right hand side dropping down into Osoyoos for the last 15 kilometers or so.”

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Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia
Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world at over 5000 feet in depth and it is also the world’s oldest at around 25 million years. It is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites where it is described as follows: “Known as the ‘Galapagos of Russia’, its age and isolation have produced one of the world’s richest and most unusual freshwater faunas, which is of exceptional value to evolutionary science.” Another interesting fact is that the Trans-Siberian Railway passes by the Lake.

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Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Okay. This is not just one lake, but a series of lakes. Located about two and a half hours by bus from Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes National Park is a series of 16 lakes of varying altitudes surrounded by woodlands and wildlife. The lakes are divided into upper and lower lakes and the area is dotted with waterfalls. The area is easily explored by a system of trails and boardwalks as well as by boat on some of the larger lakes. Though this is the site of one of the first casualties of the war, it, like the rest of Croatia, has now returned to a place of exploration and beauty.

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Lake Tritriva, Madagascar
This mysterious emerald-green, crater lake has sheer cliff walls made of gneiss. What adds to the mystery of this lake is that it gains water during the dry season and looses water during the rainy season. Local legends also fuel the mystery. There is a story of a couple who was not allowed to marry and, so, jumped off the cliff walls into the lake. Swimming is not possible in this lake, but it is beautiful to look at.

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Lake Nakuru, Kenya
Home to huge flocks of flamingos and tons of other wildlife, this lake is one of particular beauty. Just over 150 km from Nairobi, the Lake Nakuru is said to have over 1 million flamingos. The sheer numbers make the lake appear to have a bright, pink shoreline. This lake is one of great interest to scientists, birdwatchers and tourists alike. It is often included on Kenyan safari tours.

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The Dead Sea, Israel and Jordan
The Dead Sea is actually an endorheic lake. This means the lake is landlocked with no outlet. Mineral salts are carried to the lake by rivers and the only way water escapes is by evaporation. Evaporation happens so quickly here due to the climate, thus causing the extreme buildup of saline. Animal and plant life cannot survive in the lake, yet visitors can certainly have a float on the surface. You’ll see many people reading while floating along the warm, coastal waters. Once home to several biblical cities, the Dead Sea is now sparsely populated. However, now, just as in historic times, the Dead Sea’s salts and minerals have been said to have healing powers. Therefore, the lake attracts many on pilgrimages in the name of health and well-being.

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IMAGES VIA: MacAllenBrothers, fvanrenterghem, Sir Merv, hbarrison, qualicum, Oh mon héros ! [touriste en Gaule – 2/ Paname, ** rosa **, Olivier Lejade, collinj and babeltravelon Flickr.

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