Tufa Towers on Mono Lake
Mono Lake in California is arguably the weirdest lake on the planet. It actually looks like something from another planet.
Bizarre limestone towers emerge from tranquil waters.
The skies and clouds reflect flawlessly in the undisturbed surface of the alkaline liquid with the salinity 2-3 times that of the world oceans.
Mirrored in the smooth water surface, the tufa outcroppings and occasional twigs gain symmetry and suddenly look like grotesque creatures.
These calcified plants seem strangely out of place in this barren landscape. How did they get here? How did they grow here?
Thick morning fogs and crazy sunsets further enrich the otherworldly appearance.
The lake appears lifeless, but in reality it is a thriving ecosystem. Estimated 2 million of migratory birds use this lake as rest stop every year. They feed on the unique brine shrimp, which is endemic to these waters (i.e. doesn't exist anywhere else in the world).
Interestingly enough, the tufa towers are not exclusive to this lake. They can also be found in smaller formations in several other lakes of the world. Not far from Mono Lake, the Trona Pinnacles is another example of tufa columns, sitting on the bed of the dry Searles Lake. The Trona location was actually used for filming of various sci-fi movies and TV series. Another world indeed!
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