Lake Retba, Lac Rose, or the Pink Lake, is 18 miles from Dakar, Senegal, in West Africa. The sunlight reacts with the microorganisms in the water to produce the extraordinary hue. The color is particularly visible during the dry season.
Beneath this lake’s shallow waters lies a bed of salt. The water is so salty, like that of the Dead Sea, that visitors float very easily. The salt content also provides for a small salt collecting industry and provides income for hundreds of people. Salt collectors work 6-7 hours a day in the lake. Men stand chest-deep in the lake, breaking up salt with long picks. They shovel it into baskets and load it into boats. The vessels become so loaded down that they barely keep afloat. When the boats arrive at the shore, women take over the job, carrying the salt on their heads in buckets. They spend up to 14 hours a day collecting the salt.
This lake is a fascinating phenomenon. It is another of the many wonders that make our earth a marvelous home.
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