Spotted Lake in the Okanagan region of British Columbia, Canada
© Galyna Andrushko/Shutterstoc
Spotted Lake emerges
This might look like the surface of some distant planet, but Spotted Lake is much closer to home. Just north of the US border in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada, the lake's strange coloration is due to its high concentrations of mineral deposits. It's a protected cultural site of the Syilx/Okanagan Nation for its healing properties. Spotted Lake is an endorheic lake, which is a basin where water collects but has no river or sea to drain into. The water level rises with rainfall during autumn and winter, but when the days grow hotter and drier in the summertime, the water evaporates and the surface of the lake lowers. It's during these hot, dry summers in the Okanagan when Spotted Lake earns its name—large 'spots' in varying hues of blue, green, or yellow become more prominent as the water level drops. The area's closed to the public, but you can get a decent view from the highway. Binoculars recommended.