Top 15 Saltiest Lakes in the World

A hypersaline body of water is one with a greater salt content, such as a lake, sea, lagoon, or ocean. A hypersaline body of water is one with a greater saline level, such as a lake, sea, lagoon, or ocean. Such bodies of water are typically found in an enclosed habitat with inlets but no outputs. The confined habitat is also prone to rapid evaporation. The salinity of bodies of water varies from place to place and season to season. Below are some of the saltiest Lakes in the world.

Saltiest Lakes in the World
Saltiest Lakes in the World ( Image Credit: Flickr )

Saltiest Lakes in the World

Gaet’ale Pond

The Gaet’ale Pond is one of a succession of tiny ponds surrounding Ethiopia’s Dallol Spring. It’s built atop a hot spring and has no inlet or outflow streams. With a salinity of 43%, the pond is the saltiest body of water on the planet. Its water contains 1.43 mol/kg of magnesium chloride and 2.72 mol/kg of calcium chloride. Other elements found in water include sodium, potassium, and the ion nitrate.

Lake Retba

Lake Retba is around 18 miles from Dakar, Senegal’s capital. The lake is well-known for its pink water and high salt content, which may reach 40% in some spots. A thin dune separates Lake Retba from the Atlantic Ocean. The lake’s salinity is caused by seawater incursion and subsequent evaporation. The salt in the lake is extracted by approximately 3,000 West African miners and used to preserve fish.

Lake Vanda

Lake Vanda is located in Antarctica’s Wright Valley. It’s around 5 km long and 760 metres deep. This hypersaline lake has a saline level that is approximately 35% higher than the Dead Sea. It is also a meromictic lake, which means that the shallower waters do not mix with the water at the bottom. The water of Lake Vanda is divided into three separate strata: the bottom, middle, and top layers. The Onyx River, Antarctica’s longest river, feeds the lake.


Garabogazkol is a small Caspian Sea lagoon in northeastern Turkmenistan that covers roughly 6,900 square kilometres. A small, rocky slope separates the lagoon from the Caspian Sea, allowing seawater to seep into the lagoon. The Garabogazkol has a saline level of around 35%, which is over 30 times that of the Caspian Sea. The lagoon has little flora due to its high salt level.

Don Juan Pond

Don Juan Pond is a hypersaline lake located in the Wright Valley, approximately 5.6 miles west of Lake Vanda. It is the saltiest lake in Antarctica and the world’s second saltiest body of water after Gaet’ale Pond. It is around 33% saline and is dominated by calcium chloride. Even at temperatures below -50 0C, the lake never freezes.

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Saline Level of World’s Oceans

The average salinity of the world’s seas is 3.4%-3.6%, which is significantly lower than the salinity of hypersaline lakes. As a result, unlike certain saline lakes, most oceans are home to a vast array of living animals. The oceans’ saltiness is not distributed uniformly because areas with high evaporation are more saline than regions with low evaporation. Areas with a lot of rain or near the seaside are less salty because the salt is diluted by freshwater.

The Saltiest Lakes in the World

1433Gaet’ale PondEthiopia
2338Don Juan PondAntarctica
3400Lake RetbaSenegal
4350Lake VandaAntarctica
6348Lake AssalDjibouti
7337Dead SeaIsrael, Jordan, West Bank
8317Great Salt Lake, North ArmUnited States
9300Lake BaskunchakAstrakhan Oblast, Russia
1085–280Lake UrmiaIran
11180Little Manitou LakeCanada
12142Great Salt Lake, South ArmUnited States
13120Lake AbertGreat Basin, Oregon, United States
1488Mono LakeUnited States
1566Hamelin PoolAustralia

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