Lake Made up of Glass or Water?


Thomas Nunuk Walking On Clean Ice in Slovakian Mountains

Walking On Clean Ice in Slovakian Mountains, Image Credit: Thomas Nunuk

In December 2014, Tomas Nunuk and a friend decided to explore Velke Hincovo Pleso, biggest and the deepest lake of Slovakia, located in the High Tatras Mountains. What they did not know was that they would have an experience of a lifetime. The lake was frozen crystal clear! It seemed like someone had covered the lake with a flawless glass. Glass or water or ice? They couldn’t believe their eyes. The frozen water was so remarkably clear that it created a magical illusion of mortals walking on water. A rare sight indeed!

They made a half a minute video of their adventure. The video has been seen by over 6 million people from across the globe since it was put up on YouTube a month ago. Why are people so interested in the video? It is because something like this is not at all common. The frozen water in the video is so clear that the video has sparked a debate over whether it is real or fabricated. Look at the video yourself.

Is such a phenomenon possible?

It is possible but rarely. Ice usually turns out cloudy. For how ice will be in appearance depends on two things – The purity of the water and the temperature at which it freezes.

When the temperature of the surroundings fall from being relatively mild to very cold in a very short period, and if the water is pure, the ice formed can be clear. If the water has impurities(mostly minerals and air bubbles), they get trapped making the resulting ice look hazy. Velke Hincovo Pleso is located 6,300 ft above the sea level and has pure glacier water (unless it gets mixed with snow). In this case, the weather conditions and the quality of water both were perfect to create stunning clear ice.

Did you notice something peculiar in the video? There isn’t even a single fish in the lake. Did they all run away before it turned cold? Probably! Or probably because Velke might be a fishless lake! Many a times glacial lakes do not have enough nutrients for fishes to thrive.

Coming back to clear ice, would you like to make some clear ice at home? Try this out and let us know how it turned out.


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