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This Green Lake Becomes an Underwater Wonderland

This is Green Lake, situated in the foots of the Austrian Hochschwab Mountains, close to the resort town of Tragoess in Stryria. Considered one of Austria’s treasures, this lake looks completely different from season to season. During spring, an unusual phenomenon happens when the winter snow melts. 

Green Lake Austria
Image by Florian Orthaber
Green Lake Austria
Image by Marc Henauer / Solent News 

The snowmelt makes its way down the mountainous area, submerging the surrounding forest so that the area becomes an underwater fantasy land. 

Green Lake Austria
Image by Wulf-Ulf Wulfrolf
Green Lake Austria
Image by Neo_II

In the 2006 the surrounding area was declared a nature reserve, so no camping or fires are permitted in the area. Despite this, the area attracts many tourists, who enjoy scuba diving in the fleeting underwater wonderland.

Green Lake Austria
Image by Erhart Christoph
Green Lake Austria
Image by Neo_II

You can dive for about a month during the spring, although the water has an icy temperature of 4-8⁰C (39-46⁰F). The snow melt has a crystal clear quality, making for fantastic visibility and images of a surreal otherworld. 

Green Lake Austria
Image by Marc Henauer
Green Lake Austria
Image by x.7994

During the winter months, the scenery transforms and the area is decorated with snow capped mountains. Locals enjoy hiking the forests and meadows in the area, and yodeling can be heard.

Green Lake Austria
Image by Neo_II

This yearly transformation lasts for only a few weeks and sees the lake double in size, from 21500 to 43000 square feet (2000-4000 sq. meters).

Green Lake Austria
Image by Daniela Bergmann
Green Lake Austria
Image by Roman Königshofer

Every spring the snowmelt floods the shallow winter lake, raising it by 10 meters (32 feet). In the winter, the lake almost disappears, with a depth of 1-2 meters (3-6 feet).

Green Lake Austria
Image by Herzi Pinki
Green Lake Austria
Image by Georgiy Shalamov

The area has earned the honor of being Europe’s top underwater location.  Scuba divers can swim around and see the submerged grass, footpaths, bridges, benches, trees and flowers, all intact along with snails, trout, water fleas, fly larvae, and crabs.

Green Lake Austria
Image by TauchSport_Steininger
Green Lake Austria
Image by Marc Henauer / Solent News
 
H/T: http://www.lovethesepics.com
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