Top 10 Unique Lakes in the World

1. Lakes of Varying Colors - Kelimutu Lakes, Indonesia

Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai and Tiwu Ata Polo

Kelimutu is a volcano, close to the town of Moni in central Flores Island of Indonesia containing three summit crater lakes of varying colors. The first lake is named Tiwu Ata Mbupu (lake of people spirits), the second is named Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai (lake of young people spirits), and the third is Tiwu Ata Polo (lake of fortune tellers spirits).

Dominica's Boiling Lake is situated in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park - Dominica's World Heritage site. It is a flooded fumarole 6.5 miles (10.5 km) east of Roseau, Dominica. It is filled with bubbling greyish-blue water that is usually enveloped in a cloud of vapour. The lake is approximately 200 ft (60 m) across.

Eggs cooked in a lake

The water temperature reaches over 92°C, although during the rainy season, it is cool down by 10° with the runoff of water that collects from the surrounding hills. Dominica's Boiling Lake is the second largest hot lake in the world. The largest is Frying Pan Lake, located in Waimangu Valley near Rotorua, New Zealand.

3. Exploding Lakes - Monoun, Nyos, Kivu Lake - Central Africa

Lake Nyos

Lake overturn is a rare type of natural disaster in which carbon dioxide (CO2) suddenly erupts from deep lake water, suffocating wildlife, livestock and humans. Such an eruption may also cause tsunamis in the lake as the rising CO2 displaces water. Scientists believe landslides, volcanic activity, or explosions can trigger such an eruption. Lakes in which such activity occurs may be known as exploding lakes.

Figure After Nyos Lake Explosion

A tragic phenomenon occurred in Cameroon in the mid 1980s. The first event happened in 1984, when 37 people near Lake Monoun, lost their lives suddenly. The second event, however, was much more tragic. In August 1986, Lake Nyos released a cloud of carbon dioxide (CO2) which hugged the ground and flowed down surrounding valleys to suffocate thousands of local villagers and animals. Overall, more than 1,700 people lost their lives even being 26 km away from the lake. A third lake, Lake Kivu, on the Congo-Rwanda border in Central Africa, is also known to act as a reservoir of carbon dioxide and methane. These three lakes contain very high concentrations of CO2 in their depths and can be dangerous for thousands of people who live around it. If Lake Kivu will explode, over two million people who live around it would be in danger.

4. Highest Elevation Lake - Ojos del Salado, Argentina/Chile

The highest lake in the world is on Ojos del Salado, the world’s highest volcano. Ojos del Salado is located on the border between Argentina and Chile and is the second tallest peak in South America. The crater lake is located at 20,965 feet (6,390m) above sea level and is approximately 300 feet (100m) in diameter.

5. Jellyfish Lake, Palau

Jellyfish Lake is located on one of Palau’s Rock Islands. Millions of jellyfish live in the lake, living through a symbiotic relationship with algae. El NiƱo events occur about once every decade tends to raise the temperature of the lake and this can cause the death of jellyfish populations.

6. Most Polluted Lake - Karachay, Russia

Lake Karachay is a small lake in the southern Ural mountains in western Russia. Starting in 1951 the Soviet Union used Karachay as a dumping site for radioactive waste from Mayak, the nearby nuclear waste storage and reprocessing facility, located near the town of Ozyorsk. By some estimates, the lake has accumulated roughly 4.44 exabecquerels (EBq) of radioactivity. By comparison, the Chernobyl disaster released 5 to 12 EBq of radioactivity, although this was spread over a much larger area.

7. Landlocked Sea or Largest Lake - Caspian Sea

The Caspian Sea is the world's largest lake or largest inland body of water in the world, and accounts for 40 to 44 percent of the total lacustrine waters of the world. With a surface area of 394,299 km² (152,240 mi²), it has a surface area greater than the next six largest lakes combined.

8. Disappearing Lakes - Chad Lake & Aral Sea

Chad Lake

Lake Chad, located in North Africa, has decreased 95% in size since 1963. The rapid loss of the lake is the result of diversion of water for human use and lower precipitation. Many lakes around the world are suffering a similar fate as human water consumption grows.

Aral Sea

Formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world with an area of 68,000 sq km (26,300 sq mi), the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet Union irrigation projects. By 2007 it had declined to 10% of its original size.

9. Under-Ice Lake - Vostok Lake, Antarctica

Lake Vostok Location

Lake Vostok lies under nearly 4 kilometres of solid ice (about 2,5 miles) but is warm enough to remain liquid - and this is in one of the coldest places on Earth. Lake is 250 kms long by 40 kms wide and 400 metres deep - approximately the size of Lake Ontario or half the size of Wales, making it one of the 10 biggest deep water lakes in the world. Its long and narrow shape is very similar to that of lakes that have formed in earthquake faults in other parts of the world. Since the discovery of Lake Vostok, 70 other subglacial lakes have been detected in Antarctica.

10. Asphalt Lake - Pitch Lake, Trinidad & Tobago

The Pitch Lake is the largest natural deposit of asphalt in the world, located at La Brea in southwest Trinidad. The lake covers about 40 ha and is reported to be 75 m deep. Pitch Lake is a tourist attraction that attracts about 20,000 visitors annually. It is also mined for asphalt which is exported for high-quality road construction. Pitch is an old fashioned name for tar.