Photo by: Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Austria's Grüner See Has A Park That's Underwater All Summer

This emerald-green lake is one of Austria's most beautiful bodies of water.

August 01, 2019

If you visit Austria's Grüner See during fall, you might stroll over a picturesque bridge and take a seat at a park bench to listen to the birds sing in the trees. If you visit in summer, however, those same activities would require scuba gear. From late spring through early summer, the park is fully submerged underwater.

Photo by: Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Rise from the Runoff

Located in Styria, Austria, Grüner See—Green Lake, in English—is surrounded by the Hochschwab Mountains, which are famously snow-covered for much of the year. In the late summer, fall, and winter, the lake is around 21,500 square feet and surrounded by your standard park furnishings, perfect for hikers to rest and take in the surrounding area.

But when the snow begins to melt at the start of spring and into July, the lake slowly grows larger. Its surface area doubles to more than 4,000 square meters (43,000 square feet). Its depths climb from 1 meter (3 feet) to 12 meters (39 feet) at its deepest. The benches, the pathways, the bridges, and many surrounding trees are underwater, but small crabs and a few species of trout then have more room to breathe. With all this framed by the panoramic views of the Hochschwab Mountains, Grüner See becomes a breathtaking natural spectacle. It isn't named "Green Lake" for nothing: the surface really does have a striking green hue, thanks to the grass and foliage submerged underneath.

Look, But Don't Touch

If you're there to hike, Grüner See is an essential stop on the trails. However, because of its relatively newfound popularity, the local parks department has made all watersports illegal—that includes scuba diving, one of its most alluring tourism pulls. Swimming, fishing, boating, fetch-playing with your water-loving dog, and other water activities have been prohibited as well.

But the prohibition is for good reason: with all that sediment-stirring traffic, the green color might be lost and corrosion might gradually change the landscape. Better to not risk it than to open the gates simply because we want to see underneath its surface during the height of the melting season. For now, we'll have to live vicariously through the internet's wealth of videos, and maybe the tides will turn for scuba enthusiasts someday.

This article first appeared on Curiosity.com.

Next Up

Meet the First 6 Awardees of The Explorers Club Discovery Expedition Grant Program

Today, The Explorers Club, a non-profit world leader in exploration, and Discovery Channel announced the first class of awardees to receive approximately a quarter of a million dollars collectively to fund their expeditions. Let’s meet The Explorers Club Discovery Grant awardees.

The Mystery of the Crooked Forest

Nobody knows what happened to the pine trees in this strange and eerie forest. To date, it remains a mystery.

Son Doong Cave Is So Big It Has Its Own Rainforest

This amazing cave also houses an impressive eco-system.

The Crater Lakes of Mount Kelimutu Change Color All The Time

Whereas other colored lakes often get their hues from certain species of bacteria, Mount Kelimutu's lakes are a bit more mysterious.

Breaking New Ground with Paleontologist from Mongolia

Meet Bolortsetseg (Bolor) Minjin, a Mongolian paleontologist and Explorers Club Fellow who played a pivotal role in stopping the sale of a fossil skeleton of the dinosaur Tyrannosaurus bataar, illegally collected from Mongolia. Bolor has also helped coordinate the return of over 30 other stolen dinosaurs to Mongolia.

5 Stunning Places You Never Knew Existed

Marvel at these awe-inspiring places from around the world.

This Little-Known Hiking Path Explores One of the Deepest Gorges in the World

A trek through China's Tiger Leaping Gorge is a journey into the country's most ethnically diverse region, where beauty and fear hang intoxicatingly in the air.

How to Build the 7 Different Campfires You'll Need This Summer

Learn how to master the flame with one of these fires.

Salar de Uyuni is the World's Largest Natural Mirror

When you think about the most beautiful places in the world, you probably think of mountains or forests. Wait, your list didn't include any salt flats? Preposterous!

Want to See Area 51? Tikaboo Peak is the Closest You Can Legally Get

Catch a glimpse of the goings-on at the base from this picturesque view.