by SALIM AL AFIFI
Pink lagoons are a true bucket-list type of experience. Talk about Instagrammable moments that seem to have come straight out of a canvas! These colourful, shallow waters that contrast the typical azure palette may take some time to believe that they actually exist in Oman, but UAE-based photographer Obaid Al Budoor (photo displayed) gives us a view from the top to remind us that they actually do.
As the majority of us beach-loving folks, we are accustomed to taking a dip in waters that come in a combination of orange and teal, but this time around, we witness an exotic formation that will leave our jaws dropped to the floor.
The pink lagoons are a beautiful natural phenomenon that occur in different parts of the world, formed in patches of saturated waters that sport a strawberry hue, surrounded by thick layers of salt. The same wonders can be found In Oman in the central region of Al Wusta and at the coastal beach of Al Sharqiyah.
If you have all the time you need and an itinerary that leads to the south of Oman, traverse to the town of Al Jazir in Al Wusta region, located on the picturesque coastal road to Salalah, past the Duqum area. You can spot these formations along the shore between Al Jazir and Mahout. Once you reach the place, you will be in awe of how magical (and pretty much real) the pink-coloured waters are. Though the pink shades may vary from one season to another, the inexplicable joy of being next to one is more than enough to capture a memorable moment. Given its long distance and infrequent existence, this attraction barely sees people, which makes it a true hidden gem for explorers.
Alternatively, you can stop by Al Suwih Village in the Wilayah of Bani Bu Ali in Al Sharqiyah region, which is a mere three-hour drive away from the capital. Located between Ras Al Hadd and the famous camping beach of Al Ashkhara. What makes this place special is that it offers more than a pond of water. It’s a popular attraction for campers, lovers of hiking and those fascinated by migratory birds such as the elegant-looking pink flamingo, making it a perfect destination for a quick weekend escape.
Where did the pink shade come from?
Are you as fascinated as I was when I first came across such places? I bet. Now that you have decided to visit the place, let’s explore the reason behind its vibrant colour.
According to studies, the colour is a result of a combination of salt waters that have unique algae called dunaliella salina, which is known for possessing high concentrations of salt and B Carotene, and lots of harmless bacteria such as bacillus megaterium and bacillus subtilis. The phenomenon happens when sea levels decline, leaving ponds of water with high salinity near the shore. With the help of the aforementioned mentioned algae and bacteria, these waters then begin to slowly transform into the beautiful shade of pink. Isn’t the amalgamation truly spectacular?
Science aside, this is probably one of Mother Nature’s finest works. A visual masterpiece that occupies a place in the top 10 for best places to visit in Oman. I mean, the colour itself should give you a reason to head over to one of these spots. It is something you’ve got to see to truly believe.