🌊🌀 Ancient Spirals: Kambaba Stone swirling patterned Polished Heart! Kambaba stone is a type of fossilized stromatolite, an extremely ancient fossil formed of layers of algae. Fossilized stromatolites are some of the oldest known fossils on Earth–they serve as a visual record of the prokaryotic life which helped to create oxygen and forever change our planet’s atmosphere. Green and black swirling Kambaba stone (aka Kambaba or Crocodile Jasper), is one of the most beautiful types of stromatolites. Perfect for display or meditation! 🌊🌀 1.88" x 1.63" x 1.00", 67.9 g (2.4 oz)–$10 on #Kambaba #Stone #fossil #stromatolite #algae #ancient #fossilized #petrified #earth #mineral #rock #geology #paleontology #polished #shape #heart #green #black #spiral #swirl #collector #display #healing #meditation #phenomenalgems #etsy

23 Aug

We breakfasted at the rest stop, packed up the car and hit the road again. The long straight road made it’s way through more flat red soil, housing many shrubs and a carpet of pretty bright yellow, purple, pink and white wild flowers. Gallas flew overhead as we drove on a further 90km through the hot sun, before turning off the main highway to explore the Shark Bay Heritage Area. Nia and Cian had a lesson on different animal groups as we drove, relating them to animals we had met on the trip.

The surrounding bush seemed to get thicker and slightly taller for a while as we entered the heritage area, before returning to shorter shrubs, but a dense covering of them, still interspersed with those pretty wildflowers. First port of call was Hamelin Pool, to have a look at the stromatolites. The living stromatolites here give a glimpse of life 3,500 million years ago. They attract scientists from all over the world to see a living sample of the earliest record of life on Earth. A decked area takes visitors out across the edge of the stromatolites, and we had a good view of the funny looking slightly mushroom shaped relics. It was hard to convince you brain that these mounds were actually teeming with life, with thousands of micro organisms living in communities, helping sustain one another. The network of mounds looked like they would provide an amazing monstrous maze - if you were the size of a crab, of course.

The water at Hamelin Pool is incredibly saline, with about double the normal levels of salt present (lack of fresh water feeding into the area and high evaporation rates lead to this.) Consequently, there is not much which can survive here. One creature that has thrived, however, is the fragum cockle. These guys are tiny - the smallest cockles we’d ever seen. They had survived here, pretty much unchallenged, for thousands of years. As the cockles die (as they do naturally), the empty shells are washed up onto the shoreline by waves. Over time they have built up in huge deposits, creating shell beaches. We took the short 1.5 km walking trail which winds it’s way through the dunes of, not sand, but cockle shells. It led its way to the coquina (cockle) quarry, where early settlers, who didn’t have much in way of resources in terms of timber to build with, instead used the other natural resources around them. From the early to mid 1900s they cut bricks from the heavily compacted cockle shells around them, which had turned into hard rock like material. As rainwater falls it absorbs carbon dioxide from the air and creates a very weak acid. Calcium carbonate, the main ingredient of shells, is slowly dissolved by the weak acid. The resulting calcite solution cements everything together into a limestone. Unlike other rock forming processes, coquina formation leaves most of its ingredients relatively unchanged, so shells and other hard items such as animal bones, remain recognisable. The old quarry showed steps where the bricks had been cut from, and a sign advised that bricks are still taken today only to provide necessary materials to repair existing historical buildings.

The path carried on past the quarry, and down into a camping ground, which housed the Hamelin Telegragh Station. A couple of buildings had been constructed using the coquina bricks obtained from the nearby quarry. The telegraph station had provided communication links between Roebourne and Perth up until the 1950s. However, in 1964 it also played a a major role in relaying messages regarding the tracking of the course of the Gemini space shuttle across Australia for a few hours whilst the damaged telephone line, which was meant to be doing the job, was repaired. The telegraph operator, Mrs Lillian O'Donohue, was awarded a special award by NASA as recognition for her important contribution to the space race. Sadly, the telegraph operating room itself was closed when we arrived (set tour times only), so we couldn’t look inside. We carried on back to the car, and continued en route to Denham.

Cheese sandwiches were made and consumed on the way, with bread toasting itself in the heat as it waited to be eaten. Next stop, a further 30km up the road, was to the aptly named Shell Beach. Here, again, the super saline water provided home for millions of fragum cockles. Over the years, as old cockles died, they had been washed up and deposited on the shoreline. The beach in this bay, which stretches for some 15km, is made up entirely of these tiny white compacted cockle shells. Apparently, these shells are up to 9 metres deep in places. Incredible. Nia and Cian played naughts and crosses on the cockle shell canvas, before burying their feet (and Clare’s), in tiny shells.

Back in the car, and on a further 20km to Eagle Bluff, reportedly a good lookout point over the ocean below, where marine life could often be spotted swimming in the seagrass lagoon. We may be able to spot manta rays, sharks and dugong (funny looking creatures), among other things. We ran out eagerly, and onto the specially constructed walkway, which afforded great views over the bay and along the coastline. We were there at low tide though, and are not sure if we would have spotted more at high tide. We were, however, lucky enough to spot four separate sharks, swimming effortlessly through the waters below. The most common sharks in this bay are the Lemon shark (because it smells of lemons), and the Nervous shark(always looking over its shoulder)….. Ok, descriptions are not strictly true, but the names are! Jay identified the one which swam close enough to get a good look at its fins through the binoculars as a Nervous shark. We were glad to be up high looking down rather than in the waters with them - they looked a fair size.

Back in the car and on 25km to Denham, to try and catch the visitor centre for camping information before it shut. It being a Sunday, we guessed it may be open until 4pm if we were lucky (it was nearly that time already….) we made it with ten minutes to spare. Clare went in to enquire whilst Jay took Nia and Cian over to the park they had spied. Sadly no cheap campsites available if you don’t have your own portable toilet, so the decision was made to head onto Monkey Mia and camp there, so we would be in place for the dolphin feeing early in the morning (7.45am.) Fishermen in the area had always traditionally thrown a few fish from their catch to the local Dolphins, and in the 1960s a local woman named Alice Watts tried hand feeding one of them. It returned the next day for more, and so began the daily arrival of the local Dolphins to be hand fed. The activity is closely monitored by scientists who keep an eye on the Dolphins’ health, and their behaviour - the regulars have all been named. Visitors are invited to watch the feeding, and a couple of lucky ones will be picked to actually give the fish to the dolphin (Nia and Cian need to look super cute in the morning…….!) There are actually a maximum of three feelings a day, but the second two have no specific times (they are at the whim of the Dolphins.)

We arrived at the entrance gate to Monkey Mia park, and queued up with a number of other vehicles to pay our entrance fees. We carried on into Monkey Mia resort, and again queued up in reception to try and get a camping space. We were directed to a grassy area, which was pretty small, and where you just choose a spot. It was the first time we have had a bit of camp claustrophobia - we have always had plenty of room between us and our neighbours before. However, there were plus sides. We were able to finally charge camera batteries (Clare hasn’t had a camera for the past week), and the iPad (got up to 99% before bedtime - it hasn’t seen that for a while!), we get allocated 200mb free wifi per adult, and the showers are hot. Hoorah, worth the close proximity to neighbours, then! We can also make use of the facilities here tomorrow after we have checked out in the morning, which is great.

Nia and Cian wrapped presents for Jay’s imminent birthday, whilst Jay worked on fixing one of the car seats. The cover on the shoulder of the back seat was in a poor way, and had holes in it. Our team seamstress got to work, using some vinyl he’d acquired from one of his tip runs, and did a fantastic job. Hey presto, new looking seat. Clever boy. Whilst he worked hard on this Clare cooked on the impossibly slow electric hobs in the camp kitchen, and we sat down to eat dinner in the large, fully lit, covered area. We retired to the tent quite late, and read three chapters of book (too exciting to put down….. And they were quite short chapters…..), before setting the alarm for an early start in the morning.

sylph-of-limebloods asked:

so, this may be a new twist for y'all; I have the Gem's weapon and slight backstory figured out, buuuuut not the gemstone itself. I need help finding one, or at least narrow down the options. its weapon is a chain-sickle/staff combo (the chain becomes the staff at will) and they were scouts/informants for Homeworld for the War/planetary info b4 joining Rose's rebellion. any ideas? thanks in advance

Hey there! Since your character is a scout, I’d suggest something energetic/providing energy, insightful, or with good endurance. Orange gemstones are associated with vitality and endurance, so of orange ones, I’d suggest fire opal, carnelian, or orange kyanite*. Brown is order and blending in, especially with blending in with the background of public places, so I’d recommend Tiger Eye*, petrified wood, chiastolite, stromatolite, or axinite*.

Shark Bay in Western Queensland

At the most westerly purpose of the Australian mainland, Plankton Sound taps, with its surprising seaside view and islands, has three extraordinary regular characteristics: its endless seagrass bunks, which are the biggest (4,800 km2) and on balance species-rich on the solar system; its dugong dwellers (evaluated at 11,000); and its stromatolites (settlements with regard to green bloating that clarity hard, jet homespun stores and are around the most important manifestations of life on Earth).

The midland physical distance of Shark Bay is transcendently unit in regard to low moving rises scattered with birridas inland saltpans. Shark Bay my humble self is an international inane embayment, more differencing less 13,000 km2 in park with a normal profundity in relation with 9m, encased by an instrumentation of islands. Convergence of pelagic water is through channels: Naturaliste Informer in the north and South Passage in the south.

The extraordinary characteristic of the arched roof is the mounting bent in salinities. It runs from maritime in the northern and mythology parts of the bayou down metahaline to hypersaline. The saltiness inclination has made three biotic zones that have a checked impact wherewithal the conveyance of marine living beings inside the bayou.

For very nearly 3,000 million years (divine breath.e. 85% of the hagiology of life) just microorganisms populated the Earth. The main perceptible proof of their exercises is safeguarded by stromatolites, which arrived at their most excellent differing qualities 850 million years prior. The stromatolites scramble proof of the science in relation with the microbial neighborhoods that made them and the way as for the situations in which they budding. They ruled the shallow oceans and framed broad reef tracts equaling those of advanced coral reefs.

Despite the fact that microorganisms have not declined in distinction, their pose in texture organo-sedimentary structures has, it being more spawning so ken corners in reefs developed in more lickety-cut developing an existence forms, or without a scoff to involve positions inside the life forms ourselves. Because of this stromatolites and different microbialites have declined in significance over this finality, in resentment of the fact that the establishment have remained roundly huge in situations, for example Hamelin Farm pond ultra-ultra Shark godly, where biotic differing qualities has been restricted for one explanation in lieu of why or an alternate. The stromatolites and microbial tangles of Hamelin Body corporate were the first current, living illustrations to be distinguished exempli gratia equivalent to those that at work the already oceans.

Current analogues, for example happen along in incomprehensible grating qualities and plenitude inward Hamelin Pool

incredibly support goodwill the comprehension of the nature and raising anent the Earth’s biosphere until the early Cambrian. The Hamelin Pool stromatolites are acknowledged to be an ‘examplary site’ insofar as the study and characterization about stromatolitic microbiolites, because the morphology and electrostatics concerning assorted living sorts might exist concentrated in virtue of through a reach of situations.

The Shark Bay locale is a territory of major zoological significance, essential because of the disengagement natural surroundings on promontories and islands being separated from the aggravation that has happened somewhere other. Touching the 26 types in relation to imperiled Australian devoted blooded animals, five are discovered on Bernier and Dorre Islands. These are the boodie (tunneling bettong), rufous rabbit wallaby, grouped bunny wallaby, the Shark Bay rodent and the skin flick banned bandicoot. The Shark Library district has a rich as croesus avifauna herewith over 230 antonomasia, or 35%, of Australia’s flying creature binomial nomenclature having been recorded. The site is prestigious for its marine fauna, the number speaking of inhabitants in the ballpark as respects 11,000 dugong, for adduce, is one of the biggest headed for the planetoid. Humpback and southeast right whales utilize the sensible as a brief organizing post. Bottlenose porpoise happen in the straight, and green turtle and loggerhead turtle settle on the vacation spots. Huge amounts of sharks incorporating straight fair-weather sailor, spitfire shark and hammerhead are promptly watched. There is likewise a copious populace of flashes, incorporating the manta beam.

The minutes of native occupation of Shark Cellar grows to 22,000 years BP. Around then a large disburse referring to the grassland was moistureless area, climbing superfluity levels flooding Shark Bay between 8000 BP and 6000 BP. An impressive x number relative to inborn midden destinations appreciate been discovered, discriminatively upon which Peron Delta and Dirk Hartog Coral island which furnish confirmation regarding a portion of the nourishments assembled from the waters and adjacent land regions. Con artist Depository was named by the Brahui pirate William Dampier in the done for seventeenth century. It is the site of the initially recorded European arriving in Easterly Australia, with the visit of Dirk Hartog by 1616, emulated suitable for William Dampier in


Shell Beach and the Stromatolites near Shark Bay, WA. Stromatolites have been around for 75% of the earth’s livable history (something like 3 billion years). Impressive!

On our way to Denham we visited Hamelin Pool to see marine stromatolites which are living sample of life 3,500 million years ago. Then a visit to shell beach with millions of white cockle shells. (at Shark Bay, Denham)

There’s an alien trapped inside my Stromatolite palm-stone. Do you see him? Stromatolite is fossilized blue-green algae that is billions of years old. These algae are responsible for creating the Earth’s atmospheric oxygen, making life possible for us air-breathing mammals. I have yet to come across any reliable information on the metaphysical properties of Stromatolite, but if anyone here is familiar with this stone I would love to hear how you use it.

Denham to Kalbarri

We had a nice drive from Denham to Kalbarri and stopped to see some sites along the way: 

- Shell Beach:

- Stromatolites:

And we learnt more about Project Eden:

The kids reported that the visits were much more interesting than they had expected so I took that as a win! (H)

Meet the Parents

Say hello to Grandma.

Well, possibly your great great great great x 10^100000000000 grandmother. This is a stromatolite. Without these fellows there would be no life on earth as we know it, and ultimately we and every form of life around you has descended from them, or at least got a lot to thank them for. And Shark Bay is one of the few places on earth they are still found, growing much as they are thought to have 3.6 billion years ago as the very first life forms on earth. That alone would justify its world heritage area designation, but there’s much much more.

But before we move on from stromatolites…

They’re formed by cyanobacteria (aka blue-green algae). These days there are a lot of things that like to eat cyanobacteria so they rarely get the chance to really set up house. Shark Bay is not only stromatolite heaven, but also home to the world’s largest seagrass meadows. These are fascinating themselves, needing to be continually submerged, but trapping sediment and sand so the seabed level rises and eventually exposes them, so they move further out to sea, causing significant changes to the coast line (and also harbouring the world’s largest stable population of dugongs.) On the very south eastern margin of Shark Bay there is a huge bed of seagrass which has built up a sandbar creating what is known as the Faure Sill. This appears to be a stable for structure, for the last few thousand years at least. It allows ocean water into the area beyond, known as Hamelin Pool, but little out. The trapped salty water is then subject to the intense heat of summer and the consequent evaporation results in hypersaline water, twice as salty as the open sea. Not much likes those conditions, apart from cyanobacteria apparently, so we get stromatolites forming. Even more interesting, is that these particular stromatolites, while members of the most ancient form of life on the planet, are themselves quite young, only 2-3000 years old, after Shark Bay was flooded with rising sea levels.

Stromatolites are crucially important to the biological history of the earth as they produce oxygen as a waste product, after combining CO2 and H2O to make energy for their own needs. This O2 slowly increased in concentration, first in the oceans, where it was actually toxic to most life forms, and then in the atmosphere. Life only left the oceans in the last 500 million years (ie 3 billion years after the first life forms evolved) and a large part of this was due to the punishing UV radiation pouring down from the sun. As the O2 levels increased in the air, eventually enough was converted to ozone to form the protective layer we are still reliant on to save us all from being frizzled. So we owe stromatolites quite a lot. You may be weird, slightly ugly and it’s hard to believe that you’re actually alive; but, thanks.

This is the world’s only known captive stromatolite. They look hard to keep in place don’t they? It actually sounds like a right fiddle getting the conditions just right. This one’s been living in this tank for more than 30 years. See all those bubbles on the top? That’s O2. Thanks again stromatobabies.

Hypersaline water is not liked by much, but one other is the fragum cockle. Also benefiting from the lack of predators it grows in incredible numbers on the bottom of Hamelin Pool. Such numbers, that the remaining shells, mostly under 1cm in size, are in such a profusion they are used in this area instead of gravel for making paths. In some ares the shells are up to 11 metres deep. When the rain falls there’s just a tiny bit of CO2 dissolved in it, making a very weak acid. This in turn dissolves a tiny bit of the calcium carbonate (lime) of the shells which percolates through the whole mass cementing it into a unique form of limestone called coquina. This is light but strong and so easy to work you can quarry it with a cross cut saw. The early Europeans in the area had little in the way of building materials, so many of the first buildings were made of this.

Stunning white sand that, isn’t it?

Except it isn’t.

This is the historic coquina quarry near the stromatolites at Hamelin Pool. It’s only used these days for repairs on historic buildings.

Like this one, the Anglican Church in Denham.

Detail of the church wall.

Shark Bay was the first point Europeans became aware of in Australia, as the Dutch kept running into it on their way to the fabled Spice Islands, now better known as Indonesia. Dirk Hartog was the one of the first to land, but many didn’t just land, but crashed. Most notorious would have to be the Batavia, which hit the Abrolhos Islands just to the south in the late 1600s. The commander headed north in a tiny boat to seek help from the Dutch colonies. While he was away a mutiny occurred and the mutineers systemically murdered over one hundred people they considered to be a drain on their food and water. Not nice. Also notable was the Zuytdorp, the largest ship of the Dutch East India company, which disappeared without trace in 1712. Rumours of an unknown wreck had been present in WA for years, with legends in several of the indigenous groups seeming to confirm them. It wasn’t until the 1950s that a geologist looking for oil got talking with a station hand on Cape Peron and was shown a handful of silver coins which he was able to identify as Dutch, that the wreck was finally found. Intriguingly it was newspapers in WA which funded the first expeditions to uncover the wreck. Can you imaging Rupert paying for that these days? The evidence uncovered is even more interesting. Many people clearly survived the wreck; there was evidence of huge signal fires on the coast, broken bottles, and clay pipes some distance inland. The time of year they were wrecked was most likely winter, a time of relatively cool weather and good rainfall. They could have survived reasonably for some months but come summer would have been in dire strife. No one knows what happened, apart from the fact that the survivors were never rescued. There were reports of red headed aboriginal people in the Shark Bay area from early European settlement, and there are theories that at least some of the survivors were assisted by and then integrated with the locals. Apparently there is talk of genetic work being done to explore this further, but that is limit of what I’ve found out.

I don’t actually have any shipwreck related photos, but I do have some nice ones of Cape Peron, right at the tip of the Peron Peninsula, which is the kind of environment the survivors would have had to content with. It’s also the heart of the Eden Project, which is seeking to turn the whole peninsula into a wildlife refuge. If you have a look on google earth, you’ll see the neck of the peninsula is a quite narrow, only 33km. They’ve built an industrial grade electric feral proof fence across this point and are slowly reducing or eliminating feral herbivores and carnivores. They’ve had some stunning successes, particularly after introducing bilbies, which apparently have now formed a permanent population and have an expanding range. It turns out that they’re not actually sure bilbies were ever found on this spot…imagine if they developed a feral bilby problem…

Skipjack Point on Cape Peron

The wildflowers have not settled down yet.

Finding this little fellow might be the highlight of the whole trip (there I go again). I actually nearly trod on him. He’s cradled on my ever-so-clean handkerchief because we were told that oils on our skin can be toxic to them. They don’t actually drink but have a network or microscopic channels on their skin which channel any moisture they come across into their mouths. So if it rains, they go stand in a puddle.

Way too cool to have only one photo.

Two of these vehicles are bogged.

Our Maxtrax saved them (those are the big orange things that have been tied to our roof for the entire trip). There is always a deep sense of satisfaction in using an expensive piece of equipment you weren’t sure you’d need and certainly hoped you wouldn’t…on someone else.

Found another of these appalling monstrosities in Denham, where they’ve had the nerve to desecrate this World Heritage Area with 4 of the buggers. I mean, they could have had a coal mine and a smoke stack; that’s what will fix up your visual amenity for you. And it’s gone and saved them 520,000 litres of diesel a year. Think of the job losses that’s caused. I started to feel sick just thinking about it. Oh, the headaches, the nausea, the vague sense of disquiet and anxiety. And I haven’t seen a Telegraph headline for nearly 5 months! Not to mention the noise. Now I’m pretty sensitive on this front. Range hoods drive me batty and extractor fans in the bathroom cause sudden and severe personality change. So, standing right under this blight on humanity, how would I rate it? About the same as the sound of the surf from our deck at home. Or a touch quieter.

Monkey Mia is a place that nearly all Australians have heard of. We’d certainly heard bad things about it in recent years, but our experience there belied those rumours. People first started encouraging dolphins to come in to be fed in the 1960s and by the 70s and 80s people would stand in the shallows all day feeding kilos of fish to an unlimited number of dolphins. This was all very idyllic until someone started to study the population and realised that there was a 90% mortality rate among the calves of dolphins being fed. It turned out that the dolphins spent nearly all day in the shallows. Calves can only have milk feeds in deep water, so were missing out big time. The fed dolphins were also spending no time hunting, so the calves were never taught how to catch food.

These days there are only 3 or 4 dolphins which get fed each day and then only 10% of their daily fish requirement, and now the calf survival rate is back to normal. This has lead to a few grumpy humans as only a very few of the hundreds who turn up get to actually hand over a fish (if you can avoid the avaricious pelicans first). And conversely some other grumpy humans who say they shouldn’t get fed at all (you can’t can’t keep everyone happy, can you?) and then other grumpy humans who bridle at the token payment to enter the National Park (imagine having to pay people to look after something precious!). What we found was a lovely beach where you can watch dolphins closer than just about anywhere else in the world. And we saw some turtles. And some dugongs. So no complaints from us.

At least as unnatural as anything else humans perpetrate on the planet.

Here’s one doing what its meant to do. Show off his catch to the tourists on a boat.

A fat and very unconcerned dugong.

This dolphin is “sponging”. And that’s not begging for fish, but using a sponge on the end of its rostrum (nose) to protect itself while it rummages around on the sea bed for things to eat. This is one of the few examples of non-human animals using tools. It is a behaviour that has only been observed in Shark Bay. More fascinating yet, it is only done by female dolphins, who in turn only teach it to their female calves, not the males.

While on Denham, the only town in Shark Bay, we had a trip to a fabulous aquarium called Ocean Park. It was only small but the only way you can see it is to join the permanently rolling guided tour with the rabidly enthusiastic marine biologists who are the guides (these all seem to be wildy happy and energetic young women).

Nice rocks? These are stone fish. Their barbs are highly venomous. They cause severe pain, apparently some people have tried to cut off their own limbs it’s so bad, and if you cop one badly enough it can be fatal, causing respiratory arrest. So don’t tread on one. If you do, the treatment is to cook the wound. Literally. Hot water between 40 and 50 degrees is sufficient to denature (technical for cook) the proteins that make up the venom. No hot water? Then do what the indigenous have done for generations and bury it in that sand that’s too hot to walk on.

And while we’re on marine nasties, try this one on. It’s a blowfish, from which the infamous fugu is made. It is poisonous (as opposed to venomous) and the toxin is present in it blood, skin, guts and bones. Not the muscles though. So, with sufficient training (5 years initially and then another 5 under a master), you can be taught how to prepare it so there is no blood in the muscle. Apparently you then get a unique tingling sensation in your mouth which enhances everything you eat. Or perhaps it’s that extra savour you get with possibly your last ever meal? The toxin causes complete cardiorespiratory arrest for about 3-4 hours and then your body will have metabolised it. So all you really need is 3-4 hours of CPR. Our guide was getting pretty excited by all of this, and also told us that it is traditional that a fugu chef has to prepare and eat a meal of it for himself before being unleashed on the public (fair enough) and that if one of their customers dies, they must commit suicide (maybe a touch rough in my opinion.) She also had a great story of someone on a cruise ship who had had fugu for a meal and when he got back to his room realised he was in trouble and called for medical help. The doctor and nurse rushed off….some hours later someone went to find them and found all three dead. The toxin had been transferred during mouth to mouth resuscitation. Who knows if that’s true, but what a great story. The guide’s final message was, get your jollies some other way.

Next stop for us was Kalbarri National Park. The wildflowers here are totally out of control. We came across a quote in a campground in Shark Bay which summed it up perfectly. “Who will save us from the interminable variety of this monotonous scrub.” Quite.

This is what met those poor Dutch seafarers.

The impressive Murchison Gorge in Kalbarri National Park.

The slightly cornily, but most aptly, named Window on Nature.

Next stop. Pinnacles then Perth.



These are stromatolites which are ancient living fossils. They live here because the lake is 11/2 times saltier than the ocean so no other species can exist in this enviroment. This lake is estimated to be isolated 4,800 years ago from the ocean