The photos below may look like a sea of bizarrely shaped jellyfish but these strange shapes below the frozen waters of Abraham lake are in fact methane bubbles. The methane gas bubbles are emitted from bacteria after it has consumed dead organic matter (animals and leaves) found at the bottom of the lake.
Most of the time these bubbles just rise up and pop at the surface, however, in winter they are trapped in layers of ice and create this stunning effect.
This unusual sight also occurs at Vermilion Lake and Lake Minnewanka, but the most popular destination would be Abraham Lake. All of the lakes mentioned are located in Canada, either in or not far from Banff National Park.
When to visit Lake Abraham during winter
The best time would be late December to late January.
Safety precautions when visiting Lake Abraham during winter
1. Methane is a flammable odourless gas. If there is a crack in the ice the methane gas will be release so we advise not to hold a match or a lighter on the lake.
2. The lake is in the middle of nowhere, so you won’t be able to find a close convenience store, make sure you have all the necessary equipment with you.
3. It shouldn’t be warmer than -10 degrees
4. Take an old fashioned map with you just in case
5. Wear warm clothes with base layer thermals because it can get really windy. The temperature on the lake during winter can be between -10 degrees and -25 degress.
6. Get boots crampons not to slip on the ice
For more information on what you need to bring and how to better prepare yourself for the trip please read this article.
Check out our list of 10 unusual places on Earth that would make you think you are on a different planet.