Thursday, April 18, 2024

Lipar Lagoon

Lipar Lagoon (تالاب لیپار) is located just 200 meters from the northern edge of the Sea of Oman and south of a namesake village in Chabahar in Sistan and Baluchistan province. The Lipar Wetland covers an area of approximately 4,000 hectares and is an important habitat for a variety of aquatic and migratory bird species, including flamingos, pelicans, and ducks. The wetland is also home to several species of fish, crabs, and other marine life. The abundance of organic and mineral matters, which flow through the rivers and firths in Lipar Wetland, increases the amount of biological process in some seasons of the year.

The Lipar Pink Lagoon, stretching approximately 10 hectares and located in a village of the same name, is a popular destination for tourists and photographers due to its striking appearance and unique natural features, specifically its pink color. The lake is shallow with an average depth of only about one meter. There are two theories regarding the creation of Lipar Lagoon. The first is that the lagoon spawned from the stagnation of water from the Oman Sea between two mountains and as such nestled in a rocky strait overlooking the mountain.  The second theory states that this wetland was created by one of the people in Dambdaf Village, Dad-Karim Sheikhzadeh. With the help of locals, his own donation, and support from the Ministry of Energy in 1984, he was able to shape this phenomenon. His goal was not just to create an attraction, but rather he simply wanted to manage the water that was over flooding the area due to heavy rain. However, in the first years of the construction of the wetland the water from nearby sources was directed towards the lake and with the help of steady rainfalls in the area and the accumulation of water the lake managed to expand.

Environmental experts believe the pink color of the lake is due to planktonic activities. The presence of large plant plankton in the region, plus organic and mineral substances that enter the lake through the river and the sea, leads to a significant increase in biological production. Such aspects, along with the impact of monsoon storms, which are unique features of the oceanic region of Oman Sea, cause an increase in the number of plant planktons from June until August/September. As a result the lake displays a pure pink color in late winter/early spring while in December it reaches its maximum level of salinity. It may also be seen as red and orange at times and not necessarily pink. The pink water phenomenon is rare around the world and includes, but is not limited to, Lake Hillier, the Blue Lagoon and Spencer Lake in Australia, Lake Retba in Senegal and lakes located in South Africa, Vancouver and Bolivia.

Lipar Lagoon demonstrates strong similarities to Maharloo Lake in Fars Province which also has an unusual pink color. Due to the construction of roads and dams in the vicinity, the Lipar Lagoon faces the risk of losing its unique color.  The best time to visit the area is in the winter and early spring via Ramin Village, not only due to the intensity of the lake color but also due to the region’s humid weather. The area is swampy so it is best to park cars at a distance away from the lake and go to see the lagoon on foot. There are traditional temporary dwellings near the lake where locals sell handicrafts and local products. During the peak of its tourism days, one can rent camels from the locals and go for a ride along the pink coast.



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