Visitors driving past Westgate Park on the neighboring bridge could be forgiven for thinking the lake’s lurid pink color was the result of a toxic waste spill.
But Westgate Park’s fluorescent fuchsia hue is actually triggered by an all-natural process.
Westgate Park is a salt lake and only switches to a pink color when salt levels are higher than normal.
And three other factors are also needed to alter the color.
These are high temperatures, bright sunlight and a lack of rainfall.
And the combination of conditions triggers algae growing in the lake’s salt crust produces a red pigment.
This pigment, called beta carotene, as part of the algae’s photosynthesis process.
And this is not the first time Westgate Park has altered its appearance.
Parks Victoria said Westgate Park lake first turned pink in the winter of 2012 and has turned pink every year since.
And why the lake had not turned pink before then is thought to be due to the complex system that causes it.
There are several factors — including algae combinations, the outdoor and water temperatures and water depth — that must be right for the water to turn pink.
The lake is man-made and was built many years ago to replicate the original salt marsh existing in the area before industry built up around the area.
Authorities have reassured locals that the algae are not harmful to wildlife.
Pink Lake | Melbourne | YouTube Video | XIT4U Media
However, visitors have been warned not to swim in the pink waters.
And Parks Victoria has urged people updating Instagram with a picture to stay away from the lake’s “sensitive” edge.
Westgate Park lake is anticipated to remain the eye-catching color until the autumn.
Westgate Park lake usually goes back to its regular watery color when the weather cools and rainfall increases.