If you’ve ever been to a region that experiences four seasons, you may have been able to walk out on a frozen lake.
This serene landscape has rendered many a traveler quite breathless, and it’s definitely for good reason.
Perhaps you’ve also walked along the frozen water and caught a glimpse of some frozen white bubbles just below the surface. Well, you’re about to find out what those are.
What is lurking beneath that frozen ice? In certain regions of Canada and Norway, frozen bubbles of naturally occurring methane lay quiet, waiting for their chance to burst.
One particular man in Volda, Norway, decided to take it upon himself to disturb the methane from its slumber.
He digs out the ice using his knife and throws a match on it, almost instantly creating a large column of flame.
While this might seem to be an ill-advised choice, the video was posted on December 17th, 2014, and went viral on Jukin media on January 7th, 2016.
Frozen Hell by Edwin Martinez
The frozen ‘bubbles’ under the lake are actually frozen pockets of methane gas pic.twitter.com/U1BnXJnpZ8
— ABTulley (@ab_tully) May 10, 2017
If I was standing there, I would probably just watch dumbfounded and then exclaim, “You have magic!”
Although, I’ve seen a similar trick caused by a friend throwing a packet of sugar-substitute on a fire pit. Don’t try this at home, kids!
More importantly, where does this methane come from? The answer is from an amazing scientific phenomenon!
According to the Smithsonian website, “methane bubbles form in bodies of water when dead organic matter (leaves and animals) falls into the water and sinks to the bottom, to the delight of bacteria waiting below.”
The bacteria leisurely snacks on the leaves and animals, and then releases methane gas which bubbles up to the surface.
When the a body of water is frozen, just like it is in the video, the methane becomes floating white bubbles, hovering on the surface.
Normally these pop by themselves and the methane is released slowly and safely into the atmosphere.
But other times, the bubbles become quite large and lay in wait for some thrill seeker to come and pop them wife a bowie knife. Perhaps the man was just really cold.
This natural phenomenon is beautiful to behold, specifically at sunset. But my only question is- how is this man going to be able to pour his methane-heated tea?
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