The new color of this salt lake in Victoria, Melbourne, is due to a perfect storm of circumstances: warm weather, sunlight, little rain, and very high salt levels.
The Westgate park, which houses the salt lake, is located in the southern tip of Australia. The park system said algae growing in the salt crust at the bottom of the lake produces the red pigment.
That’s beta carotene, and the algae produce it as part of its photosynthesis process — and due to the extremely high salt levels.
By the way, beta carotene is also the reason why flamingo feathers are pink. They eat algae that are loaded with the stuff.
The lake is predicted to lose its vibrant color – and return to boring blue – by wintertime.