« Zanzibar’s seaweed harvest under threat from climate change | Main | Volunteer Photo of the Week: Tara Westlund »

Cool and Unusual Colours in Nature

Nature is beautiful and astounding in many ways, but generally, we do know what to expect. Roses are red, water is blue, and grasses and leaves are green, right? But sometimes however, nature can really surprise us. Have a look at these incredibly cool colours, appearing in the very last places you would ever expect to see them!

Lake Hillier, Australia

1. Lake Hillier, Australia

Lake Hillier is a lake on Middle Island, the largest of the Islands that make up the Recherche Archipelago in Western Australia. Pink lakes such as this one occur due to the presence of algae that produces carotenoids (organic pigments) often found in sea salt fields.


2. Caño Cristales River, Colombia

Image courtesy of Eric Pheterson

This river is often dubbed ‘The River of 5 Colours’ or ‘The Liquid Rainbow’. The striking colours are caused by riverweeds beneath the surface.

Image courtesy of Flickr

3. Lake Natron, Tanzania

Image courtesy of Original Travel

This lake in Tanzania has an extremely high salt content due to salt loving micro-organisms thriving and producing red pigment. For other animals however, the environment is deadly and on entering the water many calcify, which is a bit like turning into stone.
4. The Northern Lights, The North

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

These famous colours in the sky, AKA the Aurora Borealis, can be found in many places of high latitude like Scandinavia and Canada, but have also been seen as far south as Yorkshire in the UK. They are caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in high altitude atmosphere.

5. The 7 Coloured Earths, Mauritius

Image courtesy of Llee Wu

These incredible sand dunes are found in the Chamarel plain of the Riviere Noire District in South West Mauritius. They are made up of different types of sand that spontaneously settle in different layers, in shades of red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow.
6. Champagne Pool, New Zealand

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

This hot spring, in the georthermal Waiotapu region of the North Island, is so named because of its spouting of carbon dioxide, much resembling of a glass of champagne. The incredible colours in and around the water are truly stunning.
7. Verdon Gorge, France

Image courtesy of Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho

This river canyon in south-east France, in the alps near Provence, formed by the emerald waters of the river Verdon is renowned for its surreal turquoise colour.
8. Ijen, Indonesia

Image courtesy of Jimmy McIntyre

Known as the ‘Mountain of Fire’ in Indonesia, this volcano complex surrounds the green and highly acidic lake Caldera, and is a site of traditional salt mining. The crater is rimmed by bright chunks of hardened yellow sulphur and spouts streams of white gas constantly.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

9. Grand Prismatic Hot Spring, The United States

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Located in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, this is the largest hot spring in the United States. It is so named as its striking colouration resembles the rainbow dispersion of white light by an optical prism – red, orange, green and blue.

10. Irazu Volcano, Costa Rica

Image courtesy of Cristina Valencia

Irazu is an active volcano in Costa Rica, with this verdant green crater lake hidden between its peaks.
11.  Lake Baikal, Russia

Image courtesy of Alexey Trofimov

Lake Baikal is thought to be one of the world’s oldest lakes at 25 million years. It is also the deepest and clearest, and the 7th largest in the world by surface area. In the Siberian winter, incredible blocks of turquoise ice form and poke up through the white snow.
This mind-boggling array of colours is truly incredible, and goes to show just how creative nature can be! Get in touch if you have any cool pictures to share with us.

Find out more about great ideas for your gap year, and opportunities to volunteer across the globe with Frontier.

Get more from us on social media with FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. See more from volunteers on YouTubeFlickr and Instagram #FrontierVolunteer

References (50)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>