The world we live in is full of mystery and wonder. Few things on Earth combine those two emotions as much as lakes. These beautiful bodies of water can be the bluest of blue, or multi-colored seascapes of deep depths. They can be what dreams or made of while also keeping dark secrets underneath. One stunning lake is even hidden two miles beneath Antarctica’s frozen surface. These are the most mysterious and beautiful lakes in the world.
Lake Hillier In Australia
Anyone tired of seeing blue lakes will be happy to know that’s not the only color they come in. Lake Hillier, located in Western Australia, is colored cotton candy pink, and scientists think they know why.
At the bottom of the lake, there is a bacteria that has grown over time and gives off a pink hue. It is this dye effect that is believed to be the reason Lake Hillier is colored this way.
Five Flower Lake In China
A lake with varying shades of blue, Five Flower Lake is nestled in China’s Jiuzhaigou Valley Natural Reserve. Considered to be enchanted by locals, the rainbow-brushed lake landscape is also commonly referred to as “Fairyland.”
Fallen trees decorate the bottom of the lake, which creates a world of wonder just beneath the greenish-blue surface. The changing colors of the water are caused by a limestone lakebed and algae that live among the trees.
Jellyfish Lake In Palau
The aptly named Jellyfish Lake in Palau is filled to the brim with rare and harmless jellyfish. Tourists have flocked to the lake for years to take a dip with the mysterious sea creatures.
Even stranger, at one point in the recent history of the lake the jellyfish all disappeared. Scientists credited increased water temperature as a result from El Niño. When the water temperature began dropping in 2000, the jellyfish population began to return, and was declared stable in 2012.
Spotted Lake In British Columbia, Canada
This lake located in Osoyoos, in British Columbia, is named fairly literally. Known as Spotted Lake, it is littered with what look like giant spots to the naked eye. These spots are the results of large amounts of minerals in the lake that cause crystallization.
During the summer months, this turns into walkways all over the lake. Because of the phenomena, ancient people in the area believed it was supernatural and regarded Spotted Lake as sacred.
Abraham Lake In Canada
The first man-made lake on this list, Abraham Lake was built at the bottom of the Canadian Rockies where Bighorn Dam was created. During the summer the lake is pretty, but it’s during the winter months that it really shines.
When the lake is frozen over, visitors can see incredible gas pockets that have become frozen bubbles trapped beneath the surface. When the lake opened in 1972, the Canadian government held a contest to help name it.
Lake Vostok In Antarctica
What makes Lake Vostok truly mysterious is where it’s located. It is one of the largest subglacial lakes in the world and rests two miles underneath the surface. At one point the beautiful waters were exposed, but global warming buried them long ago.
Being left isolated for thousands of years, not only is Lake Vostok one of the world’s true marvels, but it is also largely unexplored. Scientists believe that this hidden gem could be the home of one of the world’s most unique ecosystems.
Lake Baikal In Russia
The largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Baikal is believed to be around 25 million years old. As a result of its age, it is visually unique with “cobwebs” of faunas and floras creating a creepy world under the ice during winter.
In 1996, Lake Baikal was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overall, it holds more water than the Great Lakes and is noted for being the world’s deepest natural lake.
Crater Lake In Oregon
While it can’t compare its depth to that of Lake Baikal, Crater Lake in Oregon is the deepest lake in the United States. Not only is this stunning lake deep, but it is also very clear, and has some of the best visibility of any lake.
Isolated from other lakes, Crater Lake is one of the most well-preserved bodies of water, as well. The water that rests in the giant crater is naturally free from pollutants, making it nearly perfectly pure.
Plitvice Lakes In Croatia
A series of lakes formed through natural cascades, the Plitvice Lakes in Croatia is one of the most beautiful and idyllic tourist attractions in the world. The rushing water that fills these lakes has also eroded the surrounding limestone into natural dams separating the bodies of water.
Located in the Plitvice Lakes National Park, these waters are open to the public and are considered one of the area’s main attractions. Every year, more than one million visitors take in these scenic rushing waters.
Badain Jaran Desert Lakes In China And Mongolia
Normally, when exploring the desert you would expect to find a barren landscape devoid of water. In the Badain Jaran Desert, that’s not the case. The sandy landscape is home to several unique lakes that were formed from underground springs.
The Badain Jaran Desert lakes rest between the sand dunes of the harsh area and are replenished by the precipitation from nearby snow-topped mountains. Few lakes you’ll find are as mysterious as the ones that prove sometimes mirages are real.
LakeYsyk In Kyrgyzstan
Located in a frigid alpine location, Lake Ysyk has a special trait – it never freezes. With a name that roughly translates to “hot lake,” the alpine wonder is home to so much geothermal activity and has such a high salinity that it is immune to its surroundings.
Resting at an elevation of 5,720 feet high and facing temperatures as low as negative 15 degrees Fahrenheit, Lake Ysyk has long been a hotbed for human activity thanks to its rich mineral resources.
Lake Nyasa In Africa
Bordering Mozambique and Tanzania, Lake Nyasa stretches more than 350 miles and is home to one of the most bio-diverse populations on the planet. Because of the amount of land it covers, along with the kinds of environments it stretches across, there are more than 1,000 species of fish in the lake.
In context, that huge quantity of fish is equal to 15 percent of all freshwater fish species known today. That’s a whole lot of fish!
Groom Lake In Nevada
A salt flat located just north of Area 51 in Nevada, Groom Lake makes it on this list for being nearly impossible to visit. For as little as we know about Area 51, we might know even less about Groom Lake.
Historically used as a runway for the Nellis Bombing Range Test Site airport, access to Groom Lake is heavily restricted. To get to the location, you need some government credentials and military experience.
Taal Lake In The Philippines
Housing a lake within a lake makes Taal Lake in the Philippines offers one of the most breathtaking views in the world. The third-largest lake in the Philippines, it was created through volcanic activity, which also led to the formation of Volcano Island.
Volcano Island is in the middle of the lake and has the second lake in its crater. Taal Volcano sits underneath it and is still considered an active volcano.
Lake Hévíz In Hungary
One of the most popular lakes in the world, Lake Hévíz is famous worldwide for its wondrous health benefits. It is the largest geothermal lake in the world with an average temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
The lake is surrounded by bathing sheds so that visitors can take advantage of the heat. Spending a day in the water can reportedly aid in relieving arthritic pain and inflammation along with other health benefits.
Loch Ness In Scotland
Perhaps the most famous mysterious lake of them all, Loch Ness has long held the attention of the world. Most well-known for the legend of the Loch Ness monster, the cold and deep lake is a mystery lover’s dream come true.
Those curious to go monster hunting can join cruises on the lake. Those feeling even braver can set out on their own to try and catch a glimpse of the elusive cryptid.
Lake Tahoe On The California/Nevada Border
Does Lake Tahoe hide a mystery greater than any lakes we’ve talked about so far? The crystal clear lake is a year-round tourist attraction in the mountains on the border of Northern California and Nevada. It might also be the resting place of many lost souls.
While nothing has ever been proven about what, or who, may lie on the bottom of the freezing lake, rumors run rampant. Like Loch Ness, there is also believed to by an unseen creature that swims the water, by the name of Tahoe Tessie.
Lake Yellowstone In Wyoming
Located in Yellowstone Park in Wyoming, Lake Yellowstone emits a noise that has baffled visitors since it was first reported in the 1870s. Paranormal investigators believe the sound is from ghosts, while others believe there must be a more natural reason for the ear-catching noises.
One possible explanation for the sounds are wind tunnels amplifying sounds through the lake and park. As of today, however, no proof has been found to concretely explain what causes the Yellowstone Lake “whispers.”
Great Slave Lake In Canada
Named after the Slavey Native Americans, Great Slave Lake in Canada is the deepest lake in all of North America. Frigid temperatures make the area nearly impossible place to live, although there are some inhabitants.
For those brave enough to tough out the temperatures there is one intriguing perk. When the surface of the lake freezes, it becomes thick and dense enough to support the weight of trucks and cars. During this time of year, the frozen lake is used as a shortcut between settlements.
Peyto Lake In Canada
Another uniquely-colored body of water, Peyto Lake is a top tourist destination buried within the Canadian Rockies. During the summer months, melted glacial rock flour pours into the lake, creating its special shade of blue. As winter creeps in, the water returns to a more natural color.
The highest peak to see the lake from is Bow Summit at the top of Icefield Parkway. It is here that most curious travelers can see the stunning lake in its aquamarine entirety.