(via Tomas N on youtube)

Our planet is truly an amazing place. Recently, two hikers from Slovakia captured incredible footage of a lake found in the High Tatras Mountain range (Tomas Nanuk, Bratslava, Slovakia). The Tatra mountains are part of the Carpathian range. The highest peak has an elevation of some 8,700 feet (2,600 meters). The range is home to bears, wolves, wild boar, and (obviously) adventuring hikers.

Oh, and, as it seems, some very clear and beautiful frozen lakes.

When brisk temperatures met crystal clear water, the hikers were able to walk across a frozen-over lake, giving off the illusion that they were treading over liquid water.

So, why is the ice so clear? Ultimately, it has to do with impurities. If there is air or bits of particulates trapped inside, then the ice will appear cloudy. If water freezes slowly, then these impurities are more likely to be removed. These impurities are more likely to be removed because, as the water freezes layer by layer, they form larger crystal structures, which allows time for any air bubbles that do form to escape.

Interestingly, the color of ice, how clear or white it is, is an indication of how thick and strong it is. Clear ice is about twice as strong as that appears to be white ice. If you think about it for a moment, this makes sense, because the clear ice is obviously far denser. Want to walk on ice? If it is clear, you need 4 inches of ice for people to walk on it, 5 inches for someone on a snowmobile to ride on, and 8-12 inches for a car to drive on. In short, white ice needs to be twice as thick to hold the same weight.

Also, this won't work 100% (because you will still have air bubbles to contend with), but because the impurities are causing the cloudiness, a popular and well known trick to making clear(er) ice is to either boil the water first or use distilled water. Also, as previously mentioned, freeze it slowly (fun trick if you want to have fancy looking ice in your drink).

WATCH: "Walking on Beautiful Clean Ice in Slovakian Mountains"


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