Why a giant lake turned blood red..

The salty waters of Lake Urmia recently turned from deep green to blood red, likely due to algae and bacterial blooms. urmia

The Iranian Lake Urmia has been slowly drying up and shrinking for decades. Now the Lake that was once one of the largest in the middle east looks like a huge crime scene.

NASA’s Aqua satellite took a photo in April of the lake with a deep green hue..but by mid-July algae and bacteria had turned the water into a srained red pool.


Drought , heat, and increased demand for irrigation water have steadily been shrinking the salty lake. As the volume of water decreases the salinity increases which makes the lake a great breading ground for Dunaliella algae, which can turn the water red.urmia-5

Lake Urmia’s color changing has happened before. Spring rains and meltwater arrive to bring freshwater which stabilizes the salinity. As drought and agriculture pressure increases red waters may become more common.

Thanks to satellite observations the lake has lost 70% of it’s surface area in the last 14 years. The concern is that is land use and water consumption remain as it is now the lake will soon disappear.


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