Eastward Bound 2 – Mono Lake

I’ve wanted to visit Mono Lake since I read about the (contested) arsenic-based life form that was found there. It sounded like a weird place where weird things happened. The lake doesn’t disappoint – it is totally weird. Walking around this vibrant body of water feels like walking around another planet.

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What looks like small icebergs are actually piles of salt and minerals. They’re solid enough to stand on, but they’re incredibly brittle. Pinch a small clump and it crumbles easily. Their texture is kind of disturbing and it all contributes to the alien atmosphere.

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Surprisingly, parts of the salty lake were frozen. The mineral rock blended seamlessly into the cloudy patches of ice. It made it easy to slip and fall if you weren’t paying attention. I found flower-like formations that I mistook for more mineral build-up until I got closer. I didn’t know ice could look like this.

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The environment sounded too harsh for plants and I wasn’t expecting any vegetation. It was shocking to see small bushes growing in the mineral buildup.

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