HUFFINGTON POST

Don't Panic! It's Just A Blood-Red Lake.

The color is caused by the same algae that make flamingos pink.
An algae bloom has turned Turkey's Tuz Golu lake a bright reddish color.
An algae bloom has turned Turkey's Tuz Golu lake a bright reddish color.

Tuz Golu, a salt lake in Aksaray, Turkey, looks like the devil's swimming pool now that a massive algae bloom has turned it a bizarre shade of pink.

But fear not -- the color change isn't a sign of the apocalypse, or an ecological disaster. Rosy Dunaliella salina algae are totally harmless, and pinken the lake every year. 

The lake water evaporates in the heat of the summer, killing plankton that usually eat the algae, Stony Brook University marine ecology research professor Christopher Gobler explained to ABC News.  

"So now, the algae is thriving and will probably [be] red until the lake fully evaporates, probably next month, during the peak of summer heat," he said. Gobler wouldn't recommend drinking the water, but added that the organisms have antioxidant properties. 

They're also rich in red beta carotene, which gives flamingos their pink color. 

Tuz Golu is one of the largest salt lakes in the world, and lies in a tectonic depression in Turkey's dry central plateau. For most of the year, it covers 580 square miles, and is just three to six feet deep. 

The lake recedes and reddens every summer, leaving behind cracked salt flats that supply half of Turkey's salt, and attract snap-happy tourists.  

View more pictures of the lake below.

  • Murat Oner Tas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • Murat Oner Tas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • Murat Oner Tas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • Murat Oner Tas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • Murat Oner Tas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • Murat Oner Tas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images