The lake is one of only a few places in the world with living marine
stromatolites. The Lake Thetis stromatolites exhibit unusual columnar
branching. These narrow, closely spaced and almost parallel columns are
extremely rare in modern stromatolites.
Alongside the stromatolites, a diverse array of benthic microbial
communities, such as algal mats, inhabit various layers of the lake.
Some of these algal mats are associated with the stromatolites while
most confine themselves to a particular area such as the high foreshore
areas, splash zone or the central basin of the lake.
The lake water is alkaline and nutrient poor but provides an ideal
environment for bottom dwelling microbial communities. The lake
contains some small fish, amphiods and a few crustacean species adapted
to living in highly saline environments.
The lake is situated east of Cervantes, 2 km inland from the Indian ocean.
Places of Interest
Cervantes Islands; Ronsard Bay; Thirsty Point, Cervantes shipwreck (1844), Thirsty Point, Cervantes Islands, Jingamia Cave
This town takes its name from an American whaling ship, Cervantes,
which was wrecked off the coast in 1844. Cervantes was anchored off
Thirsty Point, the promontory which lies to the west of the town when a
gale blew up and the ship was blown ashore on an island to the south of
the point. The ship was not badly damaged but due to difficulty of
repairs all the contents were sold on the site. The ship was named
after Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote.
The island was named Cervantes and, in 1963, it was given to the
small township which had sprung up on the mainland. At the time of
naming of the townsite it was thought that the islands had been named
Cervantes by the Baudin Expedition of 1801-03 after Miguel de
Cervantes, and, as a result, many of the streets received Spanish names.