You see that? Yup, it’s a real lake. Lake Hillier. Right on the edge of Middle Island, off the south coast of Western Australia. It’s known for it’s pink colour thanks to Dunaliella salina, a carotenoid-causing micro-algae.
Despite the high levels of saline (or shall I say, salt), this lake is pretty much harmless. Swim-able, even! However, there aren’t many ways to reach Lake Hillier. A helicopter ride is one of the most common methods to get there. Cruises are also an option for you curious minds out there wanting to visit the isolated lake and surrounding forest area!
“I have a friend who’s an artist and he’s sometimes taken a view which I don’t agree with very well. He’ll hold up a flower and say. “Look how beautiful it is,“ and I’ll agree, I think. And he says – “ you see, I as an artist can see how beautiful this is, but you as a scientist, oh, take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing.“ And I think that he’s kind of nutty.
First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me, too, I believe, although I might not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is, but I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time I see much more about the flower than he sees. I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside which also have a beauty. I mean it’s not just beauty at this dimension of one centimeter, there is also beauty at a smaller dimension, the inner structure. Also the processes, the fact that the colors in the flower are evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting – it means that insects can see the color.
It adds a question: Does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower form? Why is it aesthetic? All kinds of interesting questions which a science knowledge only adds to the excitement and mystery and the awe of a flower.
It only adds; I don’t understand how it subtracts.“
– Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988)