As I stood looking out across The Great Salt Lake last November, I could not help thinking about other salty lakes. I wondered where it ranked among them. I have swum in the Great Salt Lake. Its salt contest makes it hard to dive and swim. This lake that the Mormons settled near and used for recreation seems unique, but is it? It actually ranks about 8th in the world for salt content. This lake is so salty because it is fed by 3 rivers that have no outlet other than it, so when their waters evaporate, salt is left.
So where are the 7 saltier lakes? My research began and was full of surprises. The 2 saltiest lakes on Planet Earth are both in the same place, Antarctica. Don Juan Pond is the saltier of the 2, so it ranks as the saltiest lake anywhere on this planet. Lake Vanda, also in Antarctica, is saltier than seawater and ranks #2 for salt content.
The 3rd saltiest body of water on this planet might be Lake Assal. Its in the African country of Djibouti and is in a dormant volcanic crater. Its water is way below sea level and fed by hot springs.
The 4th saltiest lake is Lake Baskunchak in Russia. It is so salty that it provides 80% of this country’s salt production. It has been a salt factory since the 8th century. Lake Baskunchak is in southern Russia.
Among the saltiest lakes, the Dead Sea is the 5th saltiest and miscalled a sea. This biblical lake shares its borders with the countries Jordan and Israel. It is way below sea level. It is, in fact, the lowest spot on the planet. Its water level is dropping.
The Garabogazkol Aylagy is among the world’s saltiest lakes. It is in the country of Turkmenistan and forms a lagoon on the Caspian Sea. This so-called sea really isn’t a sea at all. It’s classified on many lists as the world’s largest lake for several reasons. It is close to 34% saltier than the Caspian and has no marine vegetation. Garabogaz is a city.
The Qarhan Lake in China is among the world’s saltiest places. It is actually not now a lake but a plain that is mined for its salt that is rich in potassium and other minerals.
This is not an exact science. There are many lists of the world’s saltiest lakes and they differ. Let’s just say that The Great Salt Lake is about #8 among the world’s saltiest bodies of water.