Like most people on this planet, I like to see different places and cultures and wander about a bit. Also, like most people, I don’t get to do it anywhere near as much as I would like. Money is always the problem, you can’t just get up and travel to the opposite side of the world on a whim, not unless you’re Michael Palin or something. And even he probably has to ask his wife.
So I have to make do with looking at pictures like everyone else. So here’s six places I will probably never visit that look awesome.
1) Rio Tinto River – Spain
A running river of blood? No, looks gnarly though doesn’t it?
The Rio Tinto river is rich in loads of minerals, copper, gold and silver. It’s been mined for at least the last 5000 years. It is proper acidic – pH2, probably because of the mining that’s taken place. It’s blood like hue is thanks to copper ore dissolved in it.
Acid mining techniques have ruined the ecology of the river and the surrounding environment. But at least it still looks 100% heavy metal and does indeed contain some heavy metals.
The river has got a bit of attention from Astrobiologists in recent years. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. So they like looking at things that can survive in extreme and non-earthly conditions. The acidic, metal ridden world of the Rio Tinto harbours bacteria that can deal with harsh conditions, which some think may be similar to those of subterranean waterways on Mars. So the Astrobiologists are always down there sampling and musing.
2) Lake Klilkuk – Canada
What’s all this about? It looks mental? Lake Klilkuk is near a town in British Columbia called Osoyoos which is a pretty mad name. According to those in the know, Klilkuk is a saline endorheic alkali lake.
It contains some of the highest quantities of magnesium sulfate, calcium and sodium sulphates in the world and numerous other things like silver and titanium.
The lake is fairly shallow so in the summer most of the water evaporates and leaves just the minerals. The colours of the discs depend on what minerals are around at that point in time but are mostly made of magnesium sulfate.