Image of the Day: The Planet’s Most Spectacular Salt Flats

00130493-thumb-600x400-128963

Salar de Uyuni salt flats of in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes, span more than 10,000 square kilometers, and are the most extensive in the world, and so perfectly flat that the surface is used to calibrate the altimeters on orbiting satellites. The flats, formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes, are at 3,656 meters (11,995 ft) above the mean sea level. The Salar contains 50 to 70% of the world's lithium, and serves as  a major breeding ground for several species of pink flamingos.

Image credit: Ivan Kashinsky/Panos

"The Galaxy" in Your Inbox, Free, Daily