Wonder  }  Lake

The Otranto Bauxite Quarry

The mystery of green waters and red earth

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Where is


SP87, 73028 Otranto LE, Italia (23m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

Sometimes nature surprises us with shapes and colors we never imagined we would see. Think, for example, of when we drew the earth as children. It could be green because it was covered with grass, brown if it was bare instead, maybe gray if there were rocks. But red? No come on, not red! Yet certain elements can make the earth appear in unusual colors. Perhaps we might even accept this rational explanation if we were not looking at some kind of colorful crater, dotted with greens and low shrubs, plunging into a pond with emerald green waters. It doesn't even look real.

Because it is special

Don't be fooled, it is real all right! Although it must be admitted that there is a human hand in it. In the province of Otranto, near Punta Palascia, this cavity is what remains of a bauxite quarry that came in contact with an aquifer and filled with water. In short, nature saw the chasm we had left, rolled up her sleeves and made up for it with her sublime artistic vein. Wanting to add a touch of originality to the work, it is worth noting that this pond is one of the few that originated from an aquifer within it.

Not to be missed

The mix of colors in this area looks like something straight out of a movie about science fiction and travel to other planets. The panoramic photo in and of itself is almost a must, but if you really want to overdo it, why not wear something reminiscent of astronauts? Admit it: a space photo, zero photoshop... all your friends would envy you!

A bit of history

Bauxite mining began here around 1940 and continued until 1976. Probably the mining work led to digging too deep into an aquifer hidden underground. It would be from here that water would begin to seep into the excavation, making it difficult to work, which was then abandoned. Since then, nature has taken back its space, leading to the formation of a pond with its own ecosystem.


Legend has it that there was once only a deep chasm here. Not far away lived Asmodeid, a young woman in love with Theophant. However, one night Fate revealed his curse to her: she was his bride and could not join anyone else. But Asmodeid married Theophant, and Theophant died, despite his bride's efforts to prevent it. Howling with rage, she sought Fate by the chasm. To punish her, he caused water to gush from her mouth for every word she spoke, as long as she agreed to be his. The response was not long in coming: Asmodeid threw herself into the chasm, and from then on her hatred and despair fed the lake.

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Alessandra Lana

In the middle of the last century it was a center for bauxite mining; today it is a surreal landscape of bright colors that amaze and fascinate.


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