Dried up Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan turns into grassland amid drought

Whoa.

Zhangxin Zheng | April 21, 2021, 04:59 PM

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Singaporeans who love visiting Taiwan may be be familiar with the famous Sun Moon Lake in Nantou county.

This is what it looks like on a typical day:

Photo by Justin Hwang/Wikipedia.

Here's what you'd see if you enter the official tourism website, which hails Sun Moon Lake as one of the eight most scenic places in Taiwan.

Photo via Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area Administration website.

Photo via Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area Administration website.

Turned into moonscape

As Taiwan experiences one of its worst droughts in history, the lack of rainfall has resulted in Sun Moon Lake drying up over the past few months.

The baked and cracked basin of the dried up lake looks nothing like before, resembling a moonscape instead.

Photo via Jacy Chen/Facebook.

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A post shared by 林群 Chelli 🙋🏻Lin Chun (@chellilin)

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A post shared by ShihShin💯⠀風景Ⅰ旅行Ⅰ攝影 (@shih.shin32)

Photo via 跟隨趨勢/Facebook.

Now a grassland

But nature has proven itself to be resilient to disturbances, as grass has started to grow on the exposed basin plains.

What used to be a lake looks more like a grassland now:

Photo via Jacy Chen/Facebook.

Photo via Zora Hao/Facebook.

Photo via Chen Meilien/Facebook.

Many local tourists were also drawn to visit this unusual sight of Sun Moon Lake. All for the gram.

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A post shared by Chaim (@chaim.96)

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A post shared by 旅遊趣 Travel fun (@travelfun_tw)

Photo via Tseng Chien Lan/Facebook.

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A post shared by molly莫莉👒👗✈️ 旅行👣x攝影📸 | Taiwan (@molly888666)

Photo via Eva Shih/Facebook.

Formation of Sun Moon Lake

The Sun Moon Lake is an alpine lake, formed due to the changes in earth's crust over time and water collecting in a basin.

The name "Sun Moon Lake" was derived from how the lake looks: With Lalu Island in the middle, one part of the lake looks like a crescent moon while the other resembles the sun.

Being Taiwan's largest natural lake on high altitude, the Sun Moon Lake is also an important source of electricity driven by hydropower.

With the recent drought, the water level at Sun Moon Lake has plunged to below 30 per cent of its entire capacity, causing concerns over water supply.

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Top image via Tseng Chien Lan/Facebook, 跟隨趨勢/Facebook and Zora Hao/Facebook