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13 most crystal clear waters on earth
We’ve deemed you, our beloved readers, worthy of a list of the most beautiful, crystal clear waters in the world. Some are lakes, some are oceans, and all are natural. We wouldn’t be so over-the-top to claim this is a list of places to visit before you die, but we would heartily recommend you make a trip to a few while you’re still alive.
1. The Maldives
The Maldives are one of the world’s favourite tourist destinations, and there are plenty of reasons why – sun, sea and beautiful islands. A local vessel here highlights the beautiful waters, its shadow clearly visible on the seabed below.
The waters in this Australian red rock cave are perfectly clear. The only distortion caused by ripples from the idyllic waterfall in the background.
3. Five Flower Lake, China
Set in the Jiuzhaigou Valley in the northern Sichuan Province of China, Five Flower Lake is famous for the stunning patchwork of ancient trees that lie beneath the surface. Some of the clearest natural waters known to man.
Another popular tourist destination, and it’s clear from this beach exactly why. The second largest island in the Mediterranean Ocean, Sardinia is home to rare species such as the Mediterranean Monk Seal, the Albino Donkey and the Mouflon.
5. Crater Lake, Oregon
Formed by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama some seven and a half thousand years ago, Crater Lake is an incredible example of how freshwater lakes can look. The lake bed is clearly visible to a great depth.
6. Piccaninnie Ponds, Australia
Unlike some others on this list, Piccannine Ponds nature reserve in Southern Australia is something of an undiscovered gem. Whilst diving there is by permit only, those who are determined can experience the breath-taking views from above.
7. Lake Mashu
Officially one of the clearest lakes in the world, this lake is now known as Lake Mashu, after the neighbouring mountain peak. It was originally named “Lake Mashin”, meaning “Lake of the Devil”. The transparency of the waters has been measured at 41.6 metres, making it a contender for the clearest lake on the planet.
8. Sheosar Lake, Pakistan
Situated in northern Pakistan, the natural lake is so perfect as to resemble something manmade. With an awe-inspiring mountain backdrop, and animals roaming its banks, Sheosar Lake surely deserves a place on this list.
9. Peyto Lake
The eye-catching turquoise of Peyto Lake is caused by glacial rockfall, and the effect is a magnificent one.
10. Abel Tasman National Park, NZ
Named after Abel Tasman himself, an explorer whose name lends itself also to the Tasmanian Islands, these gorgeous waters sit on the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island.
11. Weddell Sea
The Weddell Sea has been claimed by scientists to have the clearest waters of any ocean in the world. Described by a historian as “the most wretched and dismal region on earth”, due to the flash freezes that caught Shackleton’s ship, its clarity is only belied by the sheer depth of the ocean below.
Whilst aerial photography doesn’t always do coastal waters justice, it’s obvious from this picture just how idyllic the seas of Cancun truly are. Even from this height, submerged rocks are clearly visible.
13. Cook Islands (Rarotonga)
Initially named the Hervey Islands by James Cook in 1773, the Cook Islands were renamed in his honour by the Russians in the 1820s. Here, we can clearly see the white sand beneath the surface, with the struts of the buildings acting as a depth gauge.