The multicolored patterns left in the sand when the level of the water drops in lakes, known as salt lakes, in the Pantanal in Nhecolândia, Mato Grosso do Sul, State, were for a long time a mystery to observers. The explanation lies with the cyanobacteria, Anabaenopsis elenkinii, one of the few organisms that survive in the inhospitable conditions in these very alkaline waters, which have a pH of between 9 and 11. According to the Research Center in Phycology at the Botanical Institute, these bacteria reproduce in profusion in the dry season and color the lakes with substances as they themselves decompose.
Photo sent by Kleber Renan de Souza Santos
Botanical Institute of São Paulo