They boil, they freeze, they let you surf and they can even turn things into stone (sort of)! These 8 intriguing lakes around our planet are anything but ordinary.
1. Jellyfish Lake, Palau
If you’ve ever wanted to combine a glorious island holiday with the chance to swim with jellyfish, this is your chance. And don’t worry, their stingers are too small to hurt or harm you!
Jellyfish Lake is brimming with beautiful moon and golden jellyfish, and it’s perfectly acceptable to snorkel with them as long as you get an access pass (note: diving is not allowed, as it causes too much interference with their habitat).
2. Lake Reschen, Italy
This massive 6.6 km2 lake might look naturally impressive, but what if we told you it’s actually man-made?
In the 1940s, a local power company devised a plan to create more electricity by joining two smaller existing lakes into one big dam-lake.
The move submerged the villages in between (angering residents, as you can imagine) and today, the only visible town remnant is this haunting bell tower. In summer, it’s only accessible by water, but in winter, when the lake freezes over, you can walk right up to it.
3. Lake Superior, U.S.
The king of America’s Great Lakes, Lake Superior is a freshwater wonder that reaches depths of 400 metres. But in the dead of winter, surfing here has become a popular recreational lake activity for dedicated surfies.
At Stony Point in Minnesota, the lake winds can create up to 12-foot waves (or sometimes higher).Emerging out of the freezing water with icicles hanging off your face is not uncommon!
4. Boiling Lake, Dominica
No, it’s not an exaggeration – this lake is really boiling! Located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Boiling Lake can only be reached by hiking for around 5-6 km through remote territory, and going with a guide is highly recommended.
The flowers generally remain until March. Mornings in December, when the flowers are in full bloom, are the best time to view and visit.
Obviously, you won’t be able to swim in it, but the bubbling water and the misty atmosphere are worth the adventure. Don’t forget your camera!
5. Lake Nong Harn, Thailand
In the province of Udon Thani, in Thailand’s northeast, this lake appears ordinary for most of the year.
But in October, it blooms with thousands of red-pink lotus flowers, transforming it into a stunning floating garden called the ‘Sea of Red Lotuses.’
6. Lake Baikal, Russia
Move over you other lakes, because this one holds a few records!
Baikal is the biggest freshwater lake in the world (by volume). It’s also the deepest lake on the globe, and at 25 million years old, it’s older than any lake on Earth.
During the month of April, the surface of the lake can freeze, melt and freeze again almost daily. This creates mysterious circular patterns on the icy surface that have even been glimpsed by astronauts on the International Space Station.
7. Grüner See, Austria
In English, it’s called ‘Green Lake’ and it can be found in Styria, at the foot of the Hochschwab Mountains.
In winter, the lake is only a couple of metres deep, and the rest of the lake area is a local park, complete with benches, bridges and trails. But when the mountain ice melts in spring, the lake rises to around 12 metres, covering the entire park and creating a magical underwater lake destination.
Due to an influx of travellers, though, diving and exploring here is no longer allowed. It’s cool to imagine it, though!
8. Lake Natron, Tanzania
Had enough of freshwater lakes? Fine. Let’s welcome Lake Natron – an alkaline lake in Tanzania’s north, found in the East African Rift.
But what makes Natron so special is its incredible ability to cover birds and other animals with sodium carbonate (or bicarbonate), turning them into these eerie stone-like statues. They’re so haunting that they’ve also become a focus for photographer Nick Brandt.
Apparently the surface of the lake can be so reflective that birds mistake it for the sky and plunge into its depths, only to meet their end.