Located near the city of Osoyoos in British Columbia, Canada’s Spotted Lake draws visitors from around the world. The Spotted Lake has a very highly concentration of numerous different minerals such as magnesium sulfate, calcium and sodium sulphates. It also contains extremely high concentrations of eight 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 large “spots” of minerals. Depending on the mineral composition left behind, the spots will be of white, pale yellow, green or blue in color. The spots are made mainly of magnesium sulfate, which crystallizes in the summer to form harden natural “walkways” around and between the spots.
During the First World War, minerals from the lake were harvested for manufacture of ammunition. Chinese laborers were said to have skimmed up to a ton a day of salts from the surface of the lake and shipped them to munitions factories in eastern Canada.
Known as Kliluk to the natives of the Okanagan Valley, the lake is a sacred and culturally significant site whose potential for commercial exploitation recently generated much controversy. The therapeutic quality of the waters has been known for millennia - the Native Indians used the mud and waters of the lake to heal aches and ailments. According to a story, once two warring tribes signed a truce where both parties were allowed to tend to their wounded in the Spotted Lake,
The lake was originally owned by the Ernest Smith Family for about 40 years. In 1979, when Smith attempted to have a spa at the lake, the natives attempted to buy the lake so they could keep it as a sacred site. After over 20 years of trying but failing to convince Smith to sell the land, they finally did make a deal in late October 2001, when they bought 22 hectares of land for a total of $720,000. The First Nations paid $150,000 while the Indian Affairs Department paid the remainder.
Today, the lake is surrounded by a fence to keep people off, but you can get a good view of it from the highway.
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