BUENOS AIRES, July 30 – Two lakes in a far-flung coastal region of Patagonia, in Argentina, have turned fluorescent pink, as of yet unexplained phenomena that local environmentalists fear could be harmful and caused by industrial contamination.
The lakes, located near an industrial park on the outskirts of the Argentine city of Trelew, sprawl across a dusty, desert-like plain and are largely undeveloped. Officials with the municipality of Trelew recently uncovered a truck dumping waste in the watershed, according to posts made by the city on social media.
Authorities gave conflicting views to local media, however, on whether the sudden change in color of the lakes was harmful. Environmentalists were more concerned.
Local activist Pablo Lada, a member of Argentina’s National Ecological Network (RENACE), told Reuters in an interview that the pink color could potentially be the result of a dye typically used to give prawns raised nearby their typically rose-colored hue.
“I think that the pink lagoon uncovered a …lack of treatment of this waste that has become a big problem,” Lada said.
Local and regional environmental officials are investigating the cause and potential damage to the lakes but have yet to arrive at any conclusions.