The reflection also causes an optical illusion that makes depth perception very difficult, leading to folks taking lots of silly pictures as well.
Underneath the surface lies the world's largest supply of lithium, comprising 50-70% of the world's supply of this critical component for the lithium ion batteries used to power all our smart devices.
There are several islands in the midst of the salt flat and even a hotel on one of them made entirely of salt bricks. The walls, beds, chairs, and tables are all made from bricks of salt cut from the Salar. Some of the islands are home to vizcachas, a type of chinchilla, as well as Andean foxes, and flamingos, who migrate to the Salar to breed every November.
There are legends regarding the Salar as well. According to locals the three mountains that border the salt flat, Kusina, Kusku, and Tunupa, were named for gods or giants. Tunupa married Kusku, but Kusku betrayed his wife with Kusina. It is said that as she nursed her son, Tunupa's tears mixed with milk to form the Salar, and some locals say its name should be Salar de Tunupa, to honor her tears.