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On our way to see Las Grietas on Santa Cruz Island in The Galapagos we walked by an unusual looking lake. It had a lot of algae floating in it, which looked kind of like large blobs of broccoli soup. When we asked Bolivar (our Red Mangrove Tour Leader) about it he told us that it was a salt lake.

galapagos-salt-lake

Galapagos Salt Lake (during the rainy season)

I had never seen a salt lake before so I found it very interesting.

How To Use a Salt Lake

He explained that the salt from the lake is not used in a commercial way, but that during the dry season the locals come and get salt to salt their fish and coconuts. I understood what he meant about salting fish, but the coconut part intrigued me so I asked him why people would want salt for coconuts. He told us it helps the coconuts have more milk.

Bryan, Drew and I lived in a subtropical climate here in Ecuador for around a year. I noticed that when grains of salt were left on the table, they had attracted the moisture out of the air by the end of the day and turned into little drops of water. I found that interesting and I thought that maybe salt was used on top of the coconuts to draw up the moisture out of the coconut or to draw water out of the air into the coconut.  We weren’t sure so I looked up some information on it.

Turns out I was wrong. Form what I found out, I think the most likely use is as a fertilizer. When salt is used to fertilize coconut plants they produce more coconuts and the coconuts have a thicker meat.

Before we walked by this salt lake we had not heard about any salt lakes in the Galapagos. We were happy that we got to see this one and learn a little more about the life of the people who live on the Galapagos Islands.

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