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Monday, 18 March 2013

Pondering Pink Lakes - Pardon the Pun

At times my politics may seem somewhat harsh to people, and honestly I make no apologies about that. If I don't agree with something I'm not going to say that I do. I've got a brain, I've seen and experienced a lot in my life, and I've formed an opinion based on those two factors. However, what I do sometimes forget is that there are things in this world that go beyond a cause I believe in, no matter how important I think those beliefs are.

What goes beyond equal rights and humanitarian causes for me? Well, the world, not to put too fine a point on it. I see lots of very interesting things almost all the time, and that's partially because I find a lot of things interesting, but sometimes I see something that blows me away a little bit because it never occurred to me that such a thing existed.

One of those amazing things, or perhaps I should say 'eight' of those amazing things, are pink lakes. Yes, they really exist. If you're as fascinated by the idea as I am, you can check out some details here on a site called +THE WORLD GEOGRAPHY. I've actually researched them. They really exist. The link I've provided goes to this site which is referenced as a source by Wikipedia, although they cite additional sources for their information, as well.

The thing is, these lakes are really pink. They aren't just a vague shade of something. In some cases they look like a body of Pepto-Bismol, rather than a body of water. Bright, bubble-gum pink. If you think about all the lakes you've ever seen, in their varying shades of blues, greens and occasional muddy-browns, the last thing we would expect to see is a pink one. Pink isn't thought to be an earth-tone. Pink is the colour of varying flora, but not water, in our everyday lives.

Imagine, though, how strange the world would seem to us if we lived beside a pink lake all our lives. Let's say you've never traveled far enough to see another body of water. In Australia there is more than one pink lake, so there's also the possibility that you did, in fact, see another body of water, but it was also pink. If someone told you there was an ocean out there somewhere, and didn't happen to mention to you that it looked blue, what colour would you assume it was?

One truly intriguing thing about at least one of the pink lakes is that the water itself is actually pink, even when it's removed from the lake. When we grab a jar of water from most lakes, or from the ocean, it looks colourless to us. In the case of the pink lake in Western Australia, called Lake Hillier, the water remains a rosy pink.

There's one in Canada, in the mountains in British Columbia, so I never even have to travel outside my country to visit one of these lakes if I choose not to. Seeing as I haven't been outside my country since I was a child, that isn't as far-fetched as it may seem. I'm not big on those ridiculously stressful vacations that people take to 'get away from it all' where it takes them a week to recover once they get home. Those are the same vacations where people get sick because they have no immunity to the viruses that are floating around in the new area - yes, it really is true that people are more likely to get sick from going on vacation than they are from staying home. Ask +Dr. Oz about that one.

Oddly, I discovered an interesting little factoid when researching pink salt today. I was wondering if a certain type of it might come from a pink lake, seeing as many of these lakes are loaded with salt. Hey, it was a theory - an incorrect one, but a theory nonetheless. I'm not referring to curing salt when I say pink salt, by the way. That's different stuff.

What I discovered when researching salt was that the salt substitutes that are made for people on low sodium diets are usually made with potassium chloride. Not only is this a bad idea to ingest when you're on certain types of medication, but I also know from previous research that it's one of the chemicals that are used for lethal injections. Potassium can be very deadly. Another interesting tidbit I discovered was that sea salt isn't any lower in sodium than table salt, so there isn't any point in being pretentious about using sea salt in your cooking rather than the regular stuff.

Man, it's amazing what you can learn about the world when you just let yourself wander from one topic to the next, not having any particular reason to go anywhere. Recently on Facebook there was a joke going around that I shared with my friends that said, "3 out of 4 voices in my head want to go the sleep. The other one is wondering if penguins have knees." Well, I guess it's time for me to do some research on penguins, because I don't think I'll be able to sleep now until I find out!

Apparently they do, which means it's my bedtime...