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Salar De Uyuni: the World's Largest Natural Mirror

Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest natural mirror, and a candidate for a New Wonder of the World.

Located in southwest Bolivia, the world's largest salt flat contains 10 billion tons of salt across over 4000 square miles of span. It is 25 times larger than the Bonneville salt flats in Utah.

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In the winter season, the planes are covered with a thin sheet of water. Coupled with the clear, dry air and incredibly flat surface, this creates a natural mirror that boggles the mind in clarity and magnificence.

Satellite Calibration

Because of its mammoth size, arid air, and incredibly smooth surface, the flat can act as an incredibly perfect natural mirror, used for calibrating remote sensing instruments on orbiting satellites (such as Europe's GPS service). When used for that purpose, Salar de Uyuni works nearly 5 times better than the surface of the ocean.

Harvesting Salt

Salt is collected using traditional methods-- workers scrape the salt into small mounds, which helps the water evaporate. The salt is then fully dried over fire, and enriched with iodine.

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Sources: Wikipedia, Flickr, Encyclopedia Britannica
http://www.flickr.com/photos/zaturno/2322246805/ under CC license

videodemon videodemon 26-30, M 16 Responses Jul 29, 2008

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its not a mirror its a lake bed like the bonneville salt ftats that has i thin la<x>yer of water on it. a mirror by definition is flat such a large body of water can not be flat because of the curvature of the earth. also the slightest breeze would cause a ripple in the surface. and since the worlds largest deposit of lithium is being mined there. i doubt the surface is ever without ripples

i just found out about this place, seriously why isn't it already one of the wonders of the world? this is one place i want to go see sometime in my life, i MUST see this! in my opinion it must be the most beautiful place on earth!<br />
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oh no! they better not ruin it by harvesting too much salt! how could they!?!?

Traveling is quite an experience. One will realize how small one is and with this realization comes that the world is big and there is much to be experienced yet. If you one could own a Private Jet and see the world anytime and anyhwere

Sounds like a cool place to me.

wow! you have done some research it seems. great!

This was my first time with Kumuka, and with a tour group and I had a brilliant time. The guide was amazing, the people incredible and all like minded, and the sights and activities were fantastic. We covered so much in a short space of time and it really gave me a feel for travelling around South America which helped me a lot continuing on afterwards myself. <br />
http://www.southamericavoyage.net/salar-de-uyuni-bolivia-tours.html

That would Be a Place to See, not only from ground level, but also from a small Plane-Awsome!

how cool

Was this an invite? It was wasn't it? You are inviting all EPers on a trip here. OMG how wonderful! WOW I don't know what to say... oh I'd better go pack. I went to Cali for a few days and that suitcase weighed about 65lbs... I'll surely need more for this trip.<br />
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Thank you again... *giggles* You guys ROCK! <br />
MSP

Wow, that's pretty cool! But it doesn't look like it's a perfect mirror...the reflection is a bit more faded than the real thing.

That is absolutely amazing!

The earth never ceases to amaze me, yet another reason to start taking better care of her

Thanks I always like seeing new stuff.<br />
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MnM

Why are they destroying this natural wonder by harvesting the salt? Is the salt a renewable resource?

Cool. thanks

Cool stuff! Thank you!