14/08/2012 13:41 BST | Updated 14/08/2012 15:10 BST

Blood Red Lake In South Of France Caused By High Salt Concentration (PICTURES)

At first there's something quite sinister about the blood-red lake in the South of France. But experts have assured that the phenomenon is "completely natural".

The vibrant red colour is caused by an extremely high salt concentration linked to the crustaceans that live in the lake.

Patricia Estebe from Camargue's tourist office explained: "This phenomenon is a result of the salt content in brine shrimp Artemia salina and algae Dunaliella salina. When the salt concentration is very high - which is the case before harvest - the brine shrimp die and saline algae proliferates giving this unusual colour. "

The stunning images were captured by 52-year-old Russian photographer Sam Dobson, who was driving through the area when he came across the unusual lakes.

“I’d read a lot of things about Camargue but I’d never heard anything about this," he said, according to The Sun. "Every small branch is covered with crystals. with the red water as a background it looks like something extra-terrestrial."

Camargue is not the only area to be affected. Recently the Daily Mail published images of Lake Retba in Senegal likening the colour to strawberry milkshake.

Check out the beautiful images below: