Useless Loop - so named by an uncomplimentary French explorer - is the home of Shark Bay Salt, a series of evaporation pools and small mining village from which over a million tonnes of salt is harvested each year. It lies in the western gulf of Shark Bay, about an hour by boat to the nearest town of Denham and 2 hours drive to the nearest main road.
Bordered on all sides by Shark Bay World Heritage Site, the surrounding waters are teeming with life, including a high density of bottlenose dolphins. Along with the eastern gulf of Shark Bay, these are the only waters in the world where dolphins have been observed using marine sponges as a foraging tool.
The University of Zurich, along with collaborators Murdoch University (Perth) and the University of NSW, have been studying the dolphins here for several years. I spent 6 special weeks assisting with the research from July-August 2010.