All About Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world, with a unique appearance for the region.

Why Is It Famous?

Its status as the biggest salt flat in the world makes Salar de Uyuni famous. It covers 10,582 square kilometers (which is 4,086 square miles).

Between the incredibly flat surface and the clear skies, Salar de Uyuni is also famous as a good spot to calibrate the altimeters in satellites.

What’s Nearby?

Salar de Uyuni is in southwest Bolivia’s Daniel Campos Province within Potosi. It is close to the Andes crest, which sits 3,656 meters above sea level.

Geological Description

Salar de Uyuni was created due to transformations of prehistoric lakes. The crust is salt in several meters and is extremely flat. Over the entire area of the landmark, the average variation in elevation is just one meter. The salt crust provides salt for the formation and covers a lithium-rich brine pool. This pool makes up 50-70 percent of the known reserves of lithium in the world.

After a rain, the entire flat has a thin layer of water. When calm, this water creates a natural mirror that is 129 kilometers across. The landmark is in the Altiplano of Bolivia. This high plateau was created when the Andes Mountains uplifted, and it includes salt flats, saltwater lakes, and freshwater lakes.

This area is a significant flamingo breeding ground for multiple species and the main Bolivian Altiplano transport route. It is also a transitional zone in climatology since the clouds on the eastern area of the flat in the summer cannot get past its drier western edges.

Events in Time

According to legend, the mountains around the Salar de Uyuni were giants. After Tunupa’s husband left her for another giant, she started to cry while breastfeeding. The tears and milk mixed, creating the Salar.

In Conclusion

Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat, can become a giant natural mirror following a rain, and is useful for calibrating altimeters.