What Bolivia’s Famous Salt Flats Look Like From Space

Probably not how you'd think.

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Bolivia’s famous Salar de Uyuni (salt flats) are breathtaking. From land, they stretch out over tens of thousands of kilometres of white, dehydrated earth, mirroring the changing hues of the sky. It’s no wonder thousands of tourists flock there each year.

Now, a satellite image, taken by Copernicus Sentinel-2B satellite in May and shared by the European Space Agency, has given us earth-dwellers a glimpse of what the salt flats look like from thousands of kilometres above – and it’s like some kind of abstract painting.


Photo: esa

Forty thousand years ago, the area was a large river that dried up and left a huge deposit of minerals behind. Now, Salar De Uyuni holds the largest concentration of lithium deposits in the world, meaning that as well as being home to a beautiful expansive landscape, it also shares a home with a bunch of different mineral extraction plants.

As Atlas Obscura points out, the out-of-place rectangular boxes look a lot like a computer glitch in the middle of a flawless white and turquoise sea.

Located in southwest Bolivia, Salar de Uyuni takes the title of world’s largest salt flats. From space or from land, we strongly suggest you see it at least once in your life.

(Lead image: Wikipedia Creative Commons)