Published on Friday, 02 June 2017 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
Pink is such a pretty color that brings about a whimsical wonderland effect when widely dispersed in a large area and it is scientifically proven to sooth frayed nerves. As pretty as pink is, it is not usually a color associated with nature, but there exists some gorgeous natural pink wonders in the world that needs to be showcased and glorifed.
1. Cherry Blossom Season, Japan
As the snow melts and fresh grass spring up from the earth, Japan's landscape will be transformed into an ocean of pink and cream blooms as the cherry trees start blossoming in all its full glory. Delicate petals fluttering down from the trees will dust every square inch of the ground, creating an ethereal beauty unlike anything you will ever experience.
Japan in the springtime is a fairytale fantasy come true. Voluminous puffs of cherry blossoms adorning the trees give the illusion of fluffy pink clouds, bringing both Japanese and tourists flocking to parks to indulge in one of the nation’s all-time favorite pastimes – hanami, which literally translates as “looking as flowers” and refers to flower appreciation picnics under the blooms.
2. Pink Beach of Komodo, Indonesia
Another destination that seems derived from a scene of a beautifully illustrated fairytale book is the Pink Beach of Komodo located in Indonesia. The pastel pink beach juxtaposed with the sparkling turquoise waters is the perfect backdrop for that perfect Instagram picture of you frolicking near the shore in a frilly bikini. Named Pantai Merah, this is one of the most beautiful natural pink beaches out of the seven in the world.
The beach gets its pretty hue from microscopic animals called Foraminifera, which produce a red pigment on the coral reefs. When the tiny fragments of red coral combine with the white sands, this produces the soft pink color that is visible along the shoreline.
The corals of the Pink Beach’s underwater gardens are in excellent condition, with hundreds of species of both soft and hard corals, and thousands of species of fish. Pink Beach is a terrific choice for snorkelers and beginner divers as even the shallow waters are home to an abundance of species to keep you more than entertained.
3. Cargill Salt Ponds, San Francisco
A bird eye view of the Salt Ponds in San Francisco capture a patchwork of vividly stunning ponds that seem to flow into each other in gradients of neon pink hues. These are the Cargill Salt Ponds in San Francisco, which have now mostly been sold back to government and non-profit landowners for restoration. Salt was one of the city's most profitable industries for 150 years. The salt mines which span across a staggering 15,000 acres now comprise of a massive tidal wetland restoration project which, unfortunately, means the brilliantly colored ponds will not be there forever.
The salt mines got its technicolor-ed landscape from a type of algae called Dunaliella. High salt content in water causes the algae to grow into a deep red or coral pink color. In low salt content, the algae grow green. The multi-hued salt wonderland can, amazingly, even be seen from space! Astronauts have used them as a visual market while orbiting the Earth.
4. Lake Hillier, Australia
The seemingly unnatural and opaque bubblegum pink waters of Lake Hillier looks like a giant reservoir of cough syrup. The source of its color is the same algae found in the salt ponds of San Francisco: the salt-loving Dunaliella microbe. It has pigment compounds that make it particularly good at absorbing sunlight, which helps create the reddish-pink color.
Scientists have found a mix of other algae and bacteria that have helped intensify the pink color of Lake Hillier. These discoveries also point to the reason for the lake’s coloring—the additional microorganisms are evidence that the lake was home to a leather tanning station in the early 1900s.
5. Dolomites Mountain Range, Italy
Every evening at sunset, the west-facing mountains at the Dolomites Mountain Range in north-eastern Italy goes through dramatic changes of colours, starting out bright yellow before turning an intense red that softens to indigo and violet before darkness finally enshrouds the mountains.
It is not just the reflection of the dying rays of the sun, this unusual display of colours is unique to the Dolomites. The magic of the Dolomites changing colours is contained within the rock itself where it has collected over 250 million years worth of coral, algae, fish and mollusks collected on the seabed, with magma from volcanic eruptions.
6. Pink Terraces of Lake Rotomahana, New Zealand
This could perhaps be the most spectacular pink wonder of the world but unfortunately, we can't currently see this as it is deeply submerged. The terraces were thought to be completely lost in an 1886 earthquake off the shores of New Zealand. The terraces, which were both pink and white, were a natural wonder treasured by New Zealanders. Some even called them the eighth wonder of the world. They were utterly unique: the two largest formations of fine quartz on earth. One terrace outcrop was white, while the other, due to some undetermined chemical impurity, was pink. Just imagine the water cascading off the sides of each individual terrace outcrop, framed by the mountains in the back.
An expedition that followed 150 years after the 1886 earthquake uncovered small areas of the white and pink terraces in existence underwater. 90 percent of the natural terrace has been completely swallowed up by the Earth, but at least 10 percent of it still remains as a reminder that this natural beauty is still not completely lost to the world.
7. Aurora Borealis, Alaska / Canada / Norway / Sweden / Finland
Not all who travel to these regions have managed to take in the wondrous beauty of the aurora borealis. This phenomenon occurs on rare occasions, but when it does, you will be awe-struck by the undulating and pulsating streams of neon light. The colors most often associated with the aurora borealis are green, yellow, blue, violet, orange, white, and if you are lucky, pink.