Bolivia's Bizarre Red-Orange Lake Is Spied From Space

As far as bizarre waterways go, Bolivia's Laguna Colorada is in a class by itself. Continue reading →

OK, so we've shown you some pictures of strangely-hued bodies of water in past, such as Australia's pink Lake Hillier. But Laguna Colorada, nestled at 14,000 feet in the Bolivian Andes, is in a class by itself when it comes to being exotic.

As you can see from this photo taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station, the shallow, six-mile long, 15,000-acre lake is a rusty orange-red color, as the result of algae that thrive in its salty water.

NEWS: Antarctic Lake Huffs and Puffs Like Dozing Dragon

Oddly, the lake is also filled with white islands, which actually are massive mounds of borax, a mineral used in paint, glass, and in a cleaning product famous for its sponsorship of the classic TV western "Death Valley Days."

If that's not a sufficiently strange color scheme, don't worry. Occasionally the lake has green phases as well because different algae display different colors. The type of algae at any given time is determined by the relative salinity, which changes as warmer weather causes some of the lake to evaporate, and the temperature of the water itself, according to NASA Earth Observatory.

The algae in Laguna Colorada provide more than just pigment. They're also a food source for flamingos. The lake is home to a particularly rare species, the Puna or James flamingo, (scientific name Phoenicoparrus jamesi).

NEWS: Coast Guard Spots 100-Year-Old Shipwrecks in Lake Michigan

The plain upon which Laguna Colorada is situated also is home to a number of other lagoons with exotic colors, due to mineral deposits in their waters. For example, there's Laguna Verde, which is known for its startling emerald-green shade.

If you're going to visit the lake, pack some warm pajamas. Temperatures in the area can drop to bitterly cold lows overnight, according to the "Rough Guide to Bolivia."

This shot of Bolivia’s Laguna Colorada was taken in April from the International Space Station.

In this collection of our favorite recent Earth images we get a bird's eye view of Marrakesh, some midsummer atmospheric fireworks -- and a massive solar plant in China. Above, the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, was built from 1406 until 1420 by more than 1 million workers. The palace complex, which contains 9,999 rooms, is surrounded by walls and a moat that are 26 feet high and 171 feet wide.

via

Daily Overview

, satellite imagery courtesy of Digital Globe

Around 30 percent of China's Ming-era Great Wall has disappeared over time due to adverse natural conditions and human activities, including using the bricks for houses. Tourism and local residents' activities are also damaging the longest human construction in the world, according to a new study.

China's Great Wall Is Slowly Disappearing

A Colorado woman named Bobbie Oskarson found an 8.52-carat white diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. The park, which includes a 37.5-acre field that’s the eroded surface of an ancient, gem-bearing volcanic crater, is open to anyone who wants to dig for diamonds — and keep whatever they find.

BLOG: Woman Unearths 8.52-Carat Diamond at Arkansas Park

The first place winner in the pro category for NOAA's "Weather in Focus" photo contest was Brad Goddard's shot of "Stars behind the storm."

16 U.S. Weather Photos That Will Amaze You

This image of midsummer southern lights was captured with NASA's Suomi NPP satellite. "Solar storms smacked into Earth’s magnetic field," according to NASA's Earth Observatory, "and provoked auroras over the Southern and Northern Hemisphere just after the summer solstice."

VIDEO: Auroras Are So Pretty! Lets Shoot Them!

Fast growing solar farms are taking advantage of the expanses of land and abundant sunshine in the Gobi Desert of Northern and Northwestern Asia. China kicked off a solar power station there in 2009 and has steadily been adding photovoltaic solar panels. In 2014, the area's total capacity was about 5.2 gigawatts.

VIDEO: Crazy Solar Power Plants

The medina quarter in Marrakesh, Morocco is characterized by its winding, maze-like streets. Because the intricately connected honeycomb of alleyways narrows to less than 3 feet wide at certain spots, the area is generally free from car traffic.

via

Daily Overview

, satellite imagery courtesy of Digital Globe

Turbulence fields form behind the turbines of the Donghai Bridge Wind Farm in Shanghai, China. These streaks occur when wind hits the turbines' towers or when certain meteorological conditions cause the turbines to create condensation (clouds) of very humid air.

11 Bizarre Sources for Alternative Energy