Algae Bloom Turns Turkish Lake Bright Red

Caitlin Schneider

Lake Tuz in Turkey is having a bit of a red phase.

The second largest lake in the country is currently seeing one of its periodic blooms of Dunaliella salina algae, which are common in sea salt fields. The algae transforms the creamy white waters of Tuz Golu to bright crimson, as if it had been fed with a giant dropper of red dye.

Tuz Golu means “salt lake” in Turkish, and the 600-square-mile body is among the largest hypersaline lakes in the world. During dry, summer months, Tuz Golu dries up and explorers are able to venture out onto the nearly 12-inch layer of saline lake bed.