Near Osoyoos, British Columbia, there is a 38-acre natural phenomenon called Spotted Lake or by its Native Indian name, Klikuk. As summer progresses, the lake dries out and its pools of minerals form white, pale yellow, green and blue circles. The lake is on private land, and is therefore not publicly accessible, but can be viewed from a nearby highway.Spotted Lake is a saline endorheic (DEFINED – closed drainage basin that retains water and allows no outflow) alkali lake and very highly concentrated with numerous different minerals. It contains some of the highest quantities (in the world) of magnesium sulfate, calcium and sodium sulphates. It also contains extremely high concentrations of 8 other minerals as well as some small doses of four others such as silver and titanium.Most of the water in the lake evaporates over the summer, leaving behind all the minerals. Large “spots” on the lake appear and depending on the mineral composition at the time, the spots will be different colors. The spots are made mainly of magnesium sulfate, which crystallizes in the summer. In the summer only the minerals in the lake remain, and they harden to form natural “walkways” around and between the spots.During World War I, minerals from the Spotted Lake were used to make ammunition, in the factories built in the area. For generations, Osoyoos was the property of the Earnest Smith family, who wanted t build a healing spa, on the lake. But constant pressure from the Indian natives kept this from ever happening, and eventually convinced the Smiths to sell the lake back to the Indians.Ever since ancient times, the Indians of the Okanagan Valley have considered the Spotted Lake a holy place that cured their every illness. Whether they were suffering from sprains, infections, skin diseases or body aches, they would get better by immersing their bodies in the lakes waters. Even during times of war, tribes would ask for truce, so warriors could come to Osoyoos Lake and heal their wounds.
A Spotted Lake