Fancy taking a dip down to Atlantis?
Or rather, a mysterious underwater park in the Austrian mountains?
The beautiful Grüner See, which lies at the foot of the Styria Hochschwab mountains, is one of the most stunning lakes in Austria. But that’s not its only unique selling point. Every summer, the lake overflows with water thanks t0 melting snow from the surrounding mountains—gifting us with this unusual natural phenomenon.
At exactly the same time each year, in May, the lake is in engulfed in water, filling to seven times its original depth. It’s quite the sight, seeing the partly-public spot covered by up to 36 feet of water, including pathways, trees, bridges and benches. This is particularly mesmerising if you consider the fact that the little pond is just three-to-seven feet deep in the winter.
Grüner See aptly translates to “Green Lake”, and has long been a popular spot for hikers to take in its fine, vibrant colour. It has even managed to nab the nickname “The Caribbean of the Alps”. And it’s not hard to see why!
Unfortunately, recent regulations mean you can no longer dive below the water as it’s deemed a threat to the preservation of the lake. That said, it’s still worth a visit to hike around the outskirts and admire the lake’s beauty from the onlooking trails.
If you’d like to see the lake at peak fullness, you should plan a trip for mid May or June. But it’s beautiful all year round! The lake begins the process of returning to its winter state in July, revealing more and more of the park each day.
Due to current travel restrictions, it will be hard for Londoners to catch this awesome phenomenon in 2020. However, Grüner See definitely deserves a spot on your bucket list for the future.
Featured image: Harald Hois via Ars Electronica, Flickr