First, we would like to thank Karen Gowlette-Holmes, it was because of her we could throw light on this mysterious place in Tasmania. The study and research that Karen conducted have made it possible for us to believe that nature truly has her own plans.
Bathurst Harbour is a geological masterpiece if you may call it. You will at the end of this blog, is a landlocked rectangular water body that has two distinct layers of fresh and seawater. The freshwater is blood-red in color. Yes, you read it right, the color of the water is “blood red“.
To add to the mystery, you will find the rarest deep-sea creatures and the world’s oldest living plant, Kings Holly (Lomatatia tasmanica) here. To our amazement, we found out that the water channel is only 10 meters deep. Then how on earth did deep-sea creatures flourish in the harbor?
What is going on in Bathurst Harbour?
There are many factors that have contributed to the splendors of this area. First of all, we will solve the mystery of why the color of the water is red?
The red pigmentation of the harbor water is attributed to heavy rainfalls, the topography of the surrounding areas, westerlies winds and grass called the “button grass”.
As the harbor is located in the southwestern part of the island, it receives heavy rainfalls on the windward side of the hills obstructing the westerlies. The rain then collects in a rain-soaked wetland below. The water does not percolate below the surface because the topography is full of quartzite. Quartzite is an extremely hard rock because of which the water stands still or runs off to the harbor during heavy rains. While the water stands for long periods of time, the button grass flourishes and decomposes to release tannin. Tannin is a reddish pigment that you generally find in tea. The water from the wetland runs off to the water body giving it the red color.
As a result, the harbor water underneath the freshwater receives less or no sunlight. The seawater below the freshwater supports sea creatures, but not that you find generally. What you will find here are deep-sea creatures. In a recent exploration, a diver found sea spiders. These have been said to be found in depths of about 200 ft. The fact that the harbor is only 10 meter deep make it a mysterious place. Another factor contributing to this phenomenon is that channel water is still. Seawater does not create any movement in the harbor as it is landlocked. Deep-sea creatures love these sort of conditions, less sunlight, low oxygen, and still water.
We guess, that we have given enough evidence to support our explanation on why Bathurst Harbour is a wonderland?