As you may know by now, the Desolenator works using a process known as desalination. 97% of the world’s water is in the oceans, and there are other bodies of water across the world with astonishingly high salinity. So where in the world would you find such high levels of salinity?
1. The Dead Sea, Middle East
Also known as the Salt Sea, the Dead Sea is, somewhat confusingly, a lake. It is situated in the Middle East, with Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west.
It has 33.7% salinity (for comparison, the ocean has around 3.5%), making it one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water – it is what’s known as a hypersaline lake. It’s probably the most famous, too. As per the photograph above, buoyancy levels are high due to the concentration of salt, so you can kick back and float atop the surface with ease. And why is called the the Dead Sea? It is so salty that no life can flourish there, except for miniscule amounts of bacteria.
2. Don Juan Pond, Antarctica
Even though it’s in Antarctica, Don Juan Pond doesn’t freeze – and that’s because it takes the crown as the most salty natural body of water on Earth, with salination levels at 40%.
Scientists recently found out how it came to be: according to Brown University’s research, “water sucked out of the atmosphere by parched, salty soil is the source of the saltwater brine that keeps the pond from freezing. Combine that with some fresh water flowing in from melting snow, and you’ve got a pond able to remain fluid in one of the coldest and driest places on Earth.”
3. Great Salt Lake, USA
As the name suggests, the Great Salt Lake in Utah is the largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere. Although rivers feed it, the Great Salt Lake has no aquatic outputs, meaning that the only process by which water can exit the Lake is through evaporation.
But even with the many minerals and salts left behind after evaporation – giving it a peak salinity of about 27% – it still manages to support a large variety of bird and aquatic life.
4. Garabogazköl Aylagy, Turkmenistan
Garabogazköl Aylagy, also known as Kara-Bogaz-Gol or “black strait lake”, is a shallow body of water in northern Turkmenistan. It has a very high evaporation rate, contributing to its saltiness as minerals are left behind. It has the world’s largest deposit of natural marine salts.
As with the Dead Sea, because of the exceptionally high salinity of this lake (35%), it has almost no marine vegetation.
5. Lake Assal, Djibouti
Literally meaning “Lake Honey”, this crater lake is situated in Djibouti, a tiny country in the Horn of Africa, with salinity levels at around 34.8%. It is considered a national treasure and is the second most saline body of water on Earth after the Don Juan Pond (see number 2). Like many of the saltiest lakes, Lake Assal’s mineral-rich water cannot support life beyond small amounts of bacteria and a few thorny bushes.
Images: amanderson2, Mapbox, Bruce Tuten at Flickr Creative Commons and NASA, Fishercd at Wikimedia Commons