The amazing phenomenon happens when water falls on the Salar de Uyuni salt pan in Bolivia. The ground there is so flat that when it rains, there is nowhere for the water to drain away to and it creates a mirror effect which reflects the sky. And the effect makes for a stunning sight, as these incredible pictures by photographer Takaki Watanabe show. Salar de Uyuni is Earth’s biggest salt pan at an incredible 10,500 square kilometers.
And the South American geological wonder is so flat that NASA uses its surface to calibrate their satellite orbits. Salt pans occur in areas which would usually form lakes or ponds, but the climate is so hot that the rain evaporates before they can form. The Salar also contains the world’s highest concentration of lithium, which is vital for computer and phone batteries. Half of the planet’s supply of the precious metal is contained in the area. –TS