It is during the winter that Lake Abraham, a 53.7 km² artificial lake in Alberta, Canada, offers the most suggestive spectacle.
When the lake freezes, indeed, innumerable ice bubbles begin to become visible beneath its surface; stacking on each other – before crystallizing completely – they form curious temporary “shamanic” sculptures.
This natural phenomenon is due to the presence of plants that release methane on the lake bottom. The gas, rising to the surface, forms bubbles which, in contact with the most superficial and coldest layers of water, freeze, creating this unique and wonderful spectacle.
The gas formations produced by the decomposition of organic material, however, while offering a precious scenario during the winter, with the arrival of the heat and the thaw, risk igniting and bursting, with the risk of “evaporating” the lake. The rare phenomenon is currently being studied by scientists and environmentalists, above all to understand how to exploit it to produce energy.