Tuesday, October 04 2016
Last night, while sprinkling salt over my bowl of Rustic Tomato Soup, I began to wonder where the salt in my hand had originated. To feed my curiosity, I hopped onto my iPad to learn about the mysterious salt bodies that mark the world. I found these 7 salt bodies to be particularly interesting.
1. Sifto’s Goderich Mine in Ontario, Canada
The Sifto Goderich mine was discovered by Sam Platt who, like Christopher Columbus, stumbled upon a different territory than he was seeking. Instead of finding oil, Platt discovered what is now the world’s largest salt mine!
Fun Fact: The Sifto Goderich mine is 533 meters beneath the Earth’s surface, more than 30 times the length of a bowling lane!
Dave Chidley, The Canadian Press
2. Salar De Uyuni in South West Bolivia
Salar De Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat, stretching over 6,000 miles! The flat doubles as a home to various species of flamingos and a major transport route across the Bolivian Altiplano.
Fun Fact: Salar De Uyuni is known as the world’s largest mirror!
3. Prahova Salt Mine in Romania
The Prahova Salt Mine is the largest salt mine in Europe. The mine is no longer being used for industrial purposes, and is instead used for touristic and medical purposes. Prahova Salt Mine has been known for its “salt therapy”, which has been noted to cure conditions such as pneumonia, eczema, psoriasis, depression, insomnia, bronchial asthma, and more.
Fun Fact: The mine has an impressive museum made entirely of salt!
4. Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan
The Khewra Mine is home to the popular, Himalayan Salt. The mine has unique features inside, such as an illuminated mosque made from salt.
Fun Fact: To prevent the mine from collapsing, only 50% of the salt found, is mined.
5. Lake Afrera in Northern Ethiopia
Lake Afrera has held over 290 million tons of salt! Extracting salt from the lake has not been an easy task. The lake’s water flow can get to a dangerous level and has reported to have taken entire caravans, people, and animals in the past.
Fun Fact: In 2011, a volcanic eruption covered the lake with ash, making the salt inedible.
George Steinmetz, National Geographic
6. Lake Eyre in Australia
Lake Eyre is located in the deserts of Australia and is considered to be the country’s lowest natural point, hitting 15 meters below sea level. The lake experiences one small flood every 3 years, and one large flood every 10 years.
Fun Fact: When the water in the lake evaporates, it leaves behind a salt crust that can reach up to 50cm thick.
7. Lake Vanda in Antarctica
Lake Vanda is a hypersaline lake, having 10 times more saline as seawater. The lake is made up of layers of water, distinguished by their temperatures.
Fun Fact: When the icecap edge melts, visitors are allowed to take a dip into the high salinity waters and win the “Royal Lake Vanda Swim Club” badge!