The battle for the Salar de Uyuni

The battle for the Salar de Uyuni

This gorgeous salt plain may be the key to keeping our electronics charged up.

By: John Donovan

salar

The Salar de Uyuni can reflect the sky, and its ground contains valuable lithium carbonate. (Photo: Jen Morgan/flickr)

The sky and the land, the clouds and the salt all meld together on the Salar de Uyuni. When the conditions are just right — during the wet season, when a thin layer of water coats the ground and the brilliant blue of the Bolivian sky is dotted with a few white clouds — the vast salt flat, the largest on the planet, seems to become the sky.

Salar de Uyuni is a place of uncommon beauty, unchanged for thousands and thousands of years, in a country that is recognized as the poorest in Latin America.

It’s also a place that contains one of the most sought-after metals in the world, which makes the ancient salt flats a type of modern-day battleground. Read more.