At first glance, these photographs seem to show a scuba diver exploring the depths of an underwater world. But if you look more carefully you will see a tree, a bridge and even a park bench. In fact these incredible images show a diver traversing an Austrian lake (Green Lake) that floods every year, covering everything in the surrounding area.
Scroll down for the videos
Grüner See (Green Lake) is a lake in Styria, Austria in a village named Tragöß, which is part of the municipality Tragöß-Sankt Katharein.
The lake is surrounded by forests and three mountains: Pribitz (1,579 m), Meßnerin (1,835 m) and Trenchtling (Hochturm) (2,081 m), all part of the Hochschwab Mountains.
The name “Green Lake” originated because of its emerald-green water. The clean and clear water comes from the snowmelt from the karst mountains and has a temperature of 6–7 °C (43–45 °F). During winter, the lake is only 1–2 m (3–7 ft) deep and the surrounding area is used as a county park.
For most of the year, visitors to the beauty spot can leisurely stroll around the picturesque lagoon, enjoying the stunning landscape from one of the benches set near the water’s edge. They can wander down several footpaths and cross one of many small bridges.
However, in spring, when the temperature rises and snow melts, the basin of land below the mountains fills with water. The lake reaches its maximum depth of around 12 m (39 ft) from mid-May to June and is claimed to look the most beautiful at this time. In July, the water begins to recede.
The lake supports a variety of fauna such as snails, water fleas (Daphnia pulex), small crabs, fly larvae, and different species of trout (Salmo). The flora is not abundant because of the rocky bottom of the lake. Furthermore, the lake’s depth is variable since its inflow comes from snowmelt.
The lake was popular among divers who could observe the green meadows in the edge zone of the lake particularly in June when the water is at its highest.
A bridge and a bench could also be found underwater. Furthermore, trails and trees could also be seen underwater.
Because of the spike in tourist visits that has occurred and expected damage to this sensitive environment, the use of this lake for all watersports activities has been prohibited since 1 January 2016.
Diver Marc Henauer, from Perly, Switzerland, heard about the natural phenomenon and came to explore the lake for himself.
As thousands of Instagram posts prove, the lake is just as stunning to experience from the surface, and doing so will ensure it continues to be for years to come.
Before planning a visit, you can check the current water level on the park’s website. And there’s a recreational lake a 10-minute drive away, Lake Zenz, should you find yourself itching to dive in.
Here are some videos that really shines the light on the beauty of this natural wonder. There are places on this earth that really leaves you in awe at the magnificence of Mother Nature. Enjoy!