VAN, Turkey

With water levels decreasing in eastern Turkey’s Lake Van, thousands of years old microbialites have come to light.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Mustafa Akkus, an aquaculture professor at Van Yuzuncu Yil University, said microbialites, which are observed in sodic lakes, are also found in Lake Van, which has the most interesting ecosystem in the world.

“While the length of corals across the globe is 5-10 meters (over 15-30 feet), those in Lake Van can reach 30-40 meters (over 90-120 feet). So when you go down to the bottom of the lake, you can see huge corals like blooming trees. These days, with the receding waters of Lake Van, these most mysterious structures in the world have come to light,” he said.

Microbialite is a rock or benthic sedimentary deposit comprised of carbonate mud which is formed with the mediation of microbes.

Saying that microbialites have been formed over thousands of years, Akkus added: “These corals hold great mysteries and secrets, especially regarding the climate of the region hundreds of years ago.”

Those interested in seeing microbialites on the shores of Lake Van have a better chance to observe the wonder as horizontal water recession of up to 200 meters (656 feet) is seen in some areas, he added.

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