Lonar Crater Lake is a saline soda lake in Maharashtra, India. It is the only hyper velocity impact crater in basaltic rock anywhere on earth.
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Lonar Lake lies within the only known extraterrestrial impact crater found within the great Deccan Traps basaltic formation of India. The lake was initially believed to be of volcanic origin, but now it is recognized as an impact crater created by the hyper-velocity impact of either a comet or an asteroid.
Lonar Lake has a mean diameter of 1.2 kilometres (3,900 ft) and is about 137 metres (449 ft) below the crater rim. The meteor crater rim is about 1.8 kilometres (5,900 ft) in diameter. The circular depression bears a saline water lake in its central portion. The crater's age is usually estimated to be 52,000 ± 6,000 years (Pleistocene), although a study published in 2010 gives an age of 570,000 ± 47,000 years.
The chemical characteristics of the lake shows two distinct regions that don't mix - an outer neutral (pH 7) and an inner alkaline (pH 11), each with its own flora and fauna. The lake is a haven for a wide range of plant and animal life. Resident and migratory birds are found on the lake. Among reptiles, the monitor lizard is reported to be prominent. The lake is also home to thousands of peafowls, chinkara and gazelles.
The lake was first mentioned in ancient scriptures such as the Skanda Purana, the Padma Puran and the Ain-i-Akbari.