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Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni is with its 4,085 square miles (10,582 square km) the world's largest salt flat. It is located in the Departmento of Potosi in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes, 3650 meters high. The major minerals found in the salar are halite and gypsum.

Some 40,000 years ago, the area was part of Lake Minchin, a giant prehistoric lake. When the lake dried, it left behind two modern lakes, Poopo and Uru Uru, and two major salt deserts, Salar de Coipasa and the larger Uyuni. Uyuni is roughly 25 times the size of the better-known Bonneville Salt Flats in the United States.

Salar de Uyuni is estimated to contain 10 billion tons of salt of which less than 25,000 tons is extracted annually. Every November, Salar de Uyuni is also the breeding grounds for three breeds of South American flamingos - Chilean, James's and Andean. It is also a significant tourist destination: highlights include a salt hotel and several so-called islands.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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