Lake Retba

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Lake Retba
Boats on the lake
Location Cap Vert peninsula
Coordinates 14°50′18.02″N 17°14′41.36″W / 14.8383389°N 17.2448222°W / 14.8383389; -17.2448222Coordinates: 14°50′18.02″N 17°14′41.36″W / 14.8383389°N 17.2448222°W / 14.8383389; -17.2448222
Type saline lake
Basin countries Senegal
Surface area 3 km2 (1 sq mi)
Max. depth 3 metres (9.8 ft)

Lake Retba or Lac Rose (meaning Pink lake) lies north of the Cap Vert peninsula of Senegal, north east of Dakar.,[1] in northwest Africa.

It is so named for its pink waters, caused by Dunaliella salina algae in the water that produce a red pigment used to absorb light, which provides energy to create ATP, turning the waters pink.[2] The color is particularly visible during the dry season. The lake is also known for its high salt content, which, like that of the Dead Sea, allows people to float easily.[1] The lake also has a small salt collecting industry and was often the finishing point of the Dakar Rally, before it moved to South America in 2009.[3]

Many salt collectors work 6–7 hours a day in the lake, which has a salt content of up to 40% in some areas.[2] In order to protect their skin, they rub their skin with "Beurre de Karité" (shea butter, produced from shea nuts obtained from the Shea nut tree), which is an emollient used to avoid tissue damage.[1] Many fish are also affected by the salt content of the lake. The fish have adapted to life and evolved ways to pump out extra salt while keeping their water levels balanced.[4] The fish adapted to life in water with such high salt concentrations by becoming four times smaller than when they live in their normal environment. This is known as salt water fish dwarfism.[5]

Lake Retba is under consideration by the World Heritage Committee for inclusion as a World Heritage Site.[6]

See Also[edit]

Lake Hillier


  1. ^ a b c Handayani, Wuri; Tasya Paramitha. "Danau Pink, Sensasi Wisata Apung di Senegal". VIVAnews (in Indonesian). Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Posted: 05/06/2012 11:08 Updated: 05/06/2012 11:10  . "Lake Retba In Senegal Looks Like A Giant Strawberry Milkshake". Retrieved 2013-05-23. 
  3. ^ "Lake Retba". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2013-05-23. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Posted by waliafrica (2012-07-16). "Africa’s World Heritage". Waliafrica. Retrieved 2013-05-23. 

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