Spotted Lake - Canada's strangest lake, British Columbia

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Northwest of Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada

Spotted Lake is a saline endorheic alkali lake located northwest of Osoyoos in the eastern Similkameen Valley of British Columbia, Canada, accessed via Highway 3

Originally known to the First Nations of the Okanagan Valley as Kliluk , Spotted Lake was for centuries and remains revered as a sacred site thought to provide therapeutic waters. During World War I, the minerals of Spotted Lake were used in manufacturing ammunition.

Today, there is a roadside sign telling visitors that the lake is a cultural and ecologically sensitive area, and a traditional medicine lake for the Okanagan Syilx people. The lake can be viewed from the fence that has been erected for protection from the liabilities of public access. Many travelers stop to view the site.

Mineral and salt concentration 

Spotted Lake is richly concentrated with various minerals. It contains dense deposits of magnesium sulfate, calcium and sodium sulphates. It also contains high concentrations of eight other minerals and lower amounts of silver and titanium.

Most of the water in the lake evaporates over the summer, revealing colorful mineral deposits. Large 'spots' on the lake appear and are colored according to the mineral composition and seasonal amount of precipitation. Magnesium sulfate, which crystallizes in the summer, is a major contributor to spot color. In the summer, remaining minerals in the lake harden to form natural “walkways” around and between the spots. [source]

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