This video shows frozen methane bubbles trapped beneath a lake’s surface

Instagram / @paulzizkaphoto

Among the many natural wonders luring visitors to the Canadian Rocky Mountains are the picture-perfect lakes. No doubt you’ve seen photos of Moraine Lake and Lake Louise doing their very best blue Gatorade impressions with the summer sun shining down on them.

In the winter, another Alberta lake takes center stage. Abraham Lake transforms when the temperatures drop and the deep freeze sets in. It becomes a natural work of art, and has inspired groups of “bubble-hunters” to embark on winter treks just to get a glimpse or snap a selfie with the supernaturally suspended bubbles.

Captured on film or phone, the frozen, bubbly bodies of water are hypnotic. Just take a look at this short video taken by photographer Lennart Pagel:

Bubbling Up

But what causes this other-worldly phenomenon? The bubbles you see are many tiny pockets of methane gas. They’re a natural byproduct of decaying plants and animals at the bottom of the lake. In places like Alberta, the temperatures are so low in the winter, the water around the methane bubbles freezes and traps them, creating this stunning image like the one captured by photographer Sarah Lyndsay:

Earlier this year, temperatures hovered in the single digits. As a result, there are plenty of beautiful frozen bubbles just waiting for photographers to capture. Everyone, even four-legged friends can be bubble hunters. Just check out this photo from Instagram user @jaspywoof, who brought his husky lab mix along:

Go With A Guide

However, trekking across the frozen reservoir isn’t without risks, so going with a guide is the safest route and best way to see the prettiest patch of bubbles. Companies like Pursuit Adventures offer ice bubble tours. In addition to prime bubble views, the tour includes lunch, hiking poles, snowshoe rentals, ice cleats, a professional guide and transportation.

You can see the bubbles through the crystal-clear frozen surface. They’re a bit trippy. In fact, I think they look like something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. Local photographers are drawn to them and have gotten more creative with each shot. This one from photographer Paul Zizka makes me cold just looking at it.

What do these bubbles conjure up for you?

Curiosity, News, Travel

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About the Author
Jennifer Nied
Jennifer Nied is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. She focuses on beauty, wellness, and travel stories with a background covering the spa industry.

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