What could Be Causing This Bizarre Bubbling Lake?


Stephen Luntz

Stephen has a science degree with a major in physics, an arts degree with majors in English Literature and History and Philosophy of Science and a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication.

Freelance Writer

1689 What could Be Causing This Bizarre Bubbling Lake?
Igor Litorovich. The clarity of this lake's surface waters creates an illusion of shallowness

With holes appearing in the Siberian tundra and methane plumes off the coast, the appearance of a video on Youtube showing a strange lake has aroused suggestions of a new source of emissions, in this case beneath a lake.




The voices are talking about it being unsafe to smoke around the lake, raising the possibility that the disturbance is from a release of methane. However, they also say that "it stinks", and methane is odorless if not mixed with other gasses.

Moreover, the video is over a year old, and the so called Blue of Geyser Lake has been known to locals for a lot longer than that. The location is in the Altai mountains near the border between Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia, far from the Arctic craters. Whatever gasses are stirring up the lake have been doing so for some time, with the circles at the bottom known to shift their locations and shape in response. Gas releases may also be the reason the lake is reported to not freeze in winter.

While the Russian comments heard on the video include “It's wizardry”, the illusion of shallowness is a product of remarkably clear water and the way our eyes are tricked by refractive indexes. As astonishing as this clarity is (when not stirred by emissions), it is shared with nearby waterbodies