Discovery Science TECH

The strange circles on the lake are believed to have a healing effect

Seen from afar or overhead, these colorful, speckled circles look breathtaking.

Osoyoos is a town known for its warm summers, beautiful lakes, wildlife, and many outdoor activities that stand out in a unique desert environment. This place is in the Enk Mipu Desert, the only desert in Canada and has a unique shape. Here, there is a lake called Spotted, looking high above it looks very speckled and becomes a tourist attraction.

In winter and spring, the lake northwest of Osoyoos looks like other waters. But when most of the water started to evaporate in the summer, hundreds of giant saltwater lakes were left behind, leaving a strange landscape. The water in Spotted Lake began to change, becoming yellow, green or blue, making this place the “Most Miraculous Place in Canada”.

In the hot summer, much of the water in Spotted Lake evaporates, revealing colorful mineral deposits. The minerals gather together to form colorful spots in the lake. The minerals in each small lake will be colored according to different mineral composition, from blue to green to yellow.

This lake contains the highest amounts of magnesium sulfate, calcium and sodium sulfate in the world. Silver and titanium are also found here. During World War I, minerals in lakes were used to make ammunition. These minerals are mined by Chinese workers, able to extract up to a ton of salt from the lake a day and are transported to weapons factories in eastern Canada.

It is said that before that, Spotted Lake had much more artistic color. Since the water in the reservoir contains many different minerals, its mud also has a healing effect. This is also the traditional medicine lake of the Okanagan Silkes people.

Spotted Lake has been considered a sacred place by indigenous peoples for a century, according to the British Columbia Visitor Center. They believe that each different circle has different medical treatment characteristics.

The lake was originally called Krilik, owned by the Ernest Smith family for about 40 years. In 1979, the Smiths reopened the lake spa and tried to keep it in its holiest way.

However, after 20 years of trying to preserve, they had to sell this place at the end of October 2001. An estimated 22 hectares of land was sold for 220,000 USD.

Today, there are many fences that prevent pedestrians from going down the highway to reach the shore of the lake. When driving at high speed, people can easily see the lake. Many people stopped by the side of the road in search of a longer time. At the entrance of the path leading to the houses near the lake, there is a small sign that tells visitors the healing powers of Spotted Lake.

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