Hutt Lagoon is a salt lake near the coast north of the mouth of the Hutt River in Western Australia. The lake’s water is pink due to the presence of two types of algae that produce a reddish-orange organic pigment called beta-carotene. It is used as a coloring pigment in food and medicine. Hutt Lagoon is the world’s largest seaweed farm system producing this pigment.
14 km long and 2 km wide, the lagoon is separated from the Indian Ocean by a beach ridge and a system of dune barriers. Hutt is fed by seawater seeping over the barrier crest, but high levels of evaporation balance the influx of salt resulting in high salinity levels that are constant throughout the year. During the summer, approximately 95% of the surface is dry flat salt.
Currently, approximately 450 hectares of the approximately 2,500 hectares of Hutt Lagoon are used to grow seaweed from which Beta-carotene is extracted. Beta-carotene is used as a natural color in food and is also a rich source of Vitamin A. Naturally, beta-carotene can also be found in various fruits, vegetables and grains.
These shots were taken by British photographer Steve Back while flying over the lake. An architectural photographer, Back was working in the field when he became interested in photographing seaweed. He rented a small plane and headed southwest close to the coast. While flying over the lagoon, he was struck by the beauty and symmetry of the farm south of Kalbarri.
“Below, the pink coloration isn’t too obvious and a bit unimpressive, but from the air it looks fantastic,” says the photographer.
Continue reading also about the pink lake Retba in Senegal.