Two hikers in Slovakia had the surprise and thrill of a lifetime, finding a perfectly clear frozen lake. The two walked on the ice, taking video, and posted it to YouTube on Monday. The video has since gone viral, racking up hundreds of thousands of views as the two hikers “walk on water” across the clear frozen lake.
Taken in the High Tatras Mountains in Slovakia, the video is only about 38 seconds long, but it shows one of the hikers out on the lake walking as if on water and then the videographer’s feet as he appears to be walking on air above the clear frozen lake.
The spectacular video has prompted viral sharing and commentary on various social networks, including, below, the video itself on YouTube. Some seem to think it’s faked, asking where are the “frozen fishes” and declaring that they want to “Pond Hockey” on it. Most are just amazed at the beautiful footage.
The video made mainstream when it appeared on ABC News in its International section earlier today. Shortly thereafter, Gizmodo showed the video and included an animated GIF of snippets of the video from the clear frozen lake.
Yahoo News identifies the videographer on the clear frozen lake as Tomas Nanuk from Bratslava, Slovakia, and says the video was filmed on November 30. According to the story, the two hikers had planned a route that would not have gone near the clear frozen lake, but snowy conditions changed their plans and the encounter with the beautiful scene was the result.
“This video shows Tomas standing on ice so clear that it looks like he’s floating on air.”
The phenomenon creating perfectly clear frozen lake ice like this is a combination of the lake’s water source, its location, and its very low oxygen content. The lake itself is a glacial lake, created by water runoff from glaciers as they melt. It is likely at high altitude and has a low oxygen content, as witnessed by the footage showing no algal or other growth on the rocks and surfaces under the hiker’s feet. Called an “oligotrophic” environment, this type of ecosystem means that there are no oxygen (or other gas) bubbles in the water, which is what creates the cloudy effect in ice normally.
This find by these two hikers is truly amazing. This beautiful, clear frozen lake is a relatively rare phenomenon and to be able to walk on it as they did must be amazing.