The world’s only floating island national park is in India and is quite the ecological phenomenon.
Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India and is home to actual floating islands. This region became a national park in 1977. The islands are like floating swamps, called phumdis in Hindu, and are essentially masses of organic matter (grass, soil, and plants) that sit on the top of the water with no anchor to the bottom of the lake. But the most interesting part about the phumdis is the amount of animals that call these floating land masses home.
Loktak Lake is essential for people in this region. Not only does it provide water and sustenance to surrounding communities, but people have also built hydropower dams as a source of alternative energy.
The lake hosts 233 species of aquatic plants, more than 100 species of birds, and 425 species of different animals, including the sangai.
The sangai is a type of endangered deer with brow-antlers and hooves that are built for walking on the swamps of the floating islands. This deer has been named as the state animal of Manipur.
This lake is a diverse ecological wonder, making it a popular tourist destination.
Unfortunately, like many of the world’s most beautiful places, pollution, lack of genetic diversity, and the loss of the floating masses endangers all the species that call this lake home.
Plan your trip to this incredible lake here.
Images via The Better India