'Barbie-pink' salt pond in the South Bay is for your eyes only

Once something gains traction on social media, its surging popularity often turns into a hazard.

The latest craze is over a salt pond with a striking ‘Barbie-pink’ color in the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in the South Bay.

The eye-catching color has enticed social media influencers eager to incorporate the vibrant backdrop into their content, according to SFGate. Officials worry that visitors are getting too close to the fuchsia-tinted water at Pond A12.

This pond is a haven for migratory and resident birds, including species classified as threatened or endangered, such as the western snowy plover. But things might not be so rosy for the birds due to the flocks of photo seekers and video makers coming into the habitat, officials said. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a cautionary note to sightseers, advising them to maintain a safe distance.

"To keep you and the wildlife safe, stay on the Alviso Slough Trail to take your pictures. Please take pictures from the trail, not the pond," urged the federal agency on social media.

The pond's unusual coloring is entirely natural and results from microscopic algae, namely Dunaliella salina and halobacterium. The pond's hue appears particularly vivid right now due to water levels being temporarily lowered, as part of the levee construction for the South Bay Shoreline Project, according to county officials.