UTAH (ABC4) – If you’re not familiar with Bear Lake nestled between northern Utah and Idaho, it certainly is a rare sight.
While most lakes in the United States look relatively the same, Bear Lake looks like something straight out of a tropical vacation.
Known for its striking turquoise blue water, the popular recreation destination is often called the “Caribbean of the Rockies.”
With the water stretching over 160 miles, the lake offers plenty of space for jet skiing, swimming, sailing or just lounging on the water.
But what makes this water look so unique?
To figure out the answer, you have to look underneath the surface
According to the Utah Geological Survey (UGS), the lake has large amounts of microscopic particles of white, calcium carbonate which then reflects the water’s color, but brightens it to give it the turquoise tint-like water you would find in the Caribbean.
But obviously, not all water looks this way. Why is that?
The UGS says factors such as a smooth water surface reflecting the sky and the different types of materials in the water play a major factor.
“At Bear Lake, a reflected blue sky on a sunny day can enhance the blue of the lake, while overcast gray skies impart more of an aquamarine or turquoise color,” UGS explains.
The lake also has very few impurities like algae which would muddle the water’s color.