Ice Bubbles Make This Lake Look Like It’s From Another World

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: February 25, 2024
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If you have never seen the Abraham Lake frozen ice bubbles you are missing out on one of the most stunningly beautiful (and puzzling) sights in the planet’s waters. In this short but stunning clip, we get a glimpse at the amazing disc-shaped bubbles in the icy blue lake with the mountains towering over them. This one will make your day!

Watch the Stunning Ice Bubbles Now

Click to play
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©Protasov AN/

Where Is Lake Abraham?

Amazing place to be on earth. Moraine lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Alberta has many stunning places to visit.

©Kabindra shrestha/

Lake Abraham, also known as Abraham Lake, may look like a natural wonder, but it is actually an artificial lake. It is located in Alberta, Canada, and is the area’s largest reservoir. The lake is used by TransAlta to generate power. You will find it in the Kootenay Plains, which is an area of the Canadian Rockies. On the western shore of the lake, you will find Abraham Mountain and Elliott Peak. If you want to see the bubbles, the best time to visit is from early January to mid-February. After that, the ice tends to get cloudy and covered in snow. However, ice conditions vary from year to year. Local social media accounts will let you know when they are there.

What Is in the Ice Bubbles?

The Abraham Lake ice bubbles are produced naturally and contain methane – a dangerous greenhouse gas. They may look beautiful but they are actually linked to death and decay. The methane is produced by tiny organisms that feed on decaying animal and plant material at the bottom of the lake. During warmer weather, the methane simply floats to the surface. However, when the water in the lake freezes, the methane becomes trapped in the ice forming the striking white bubbles you can see in this clip. As more ice builds up, the bubbles create the layered effect on top of each other. You need to watch out, however, because methane is flammable! Ice bubbles are not unique to Lake Abraham but it has more of them thanks to the fluctuating water levels in the lake caused by its dam.

How to See the Ice Bubbles Safely

The ice bubbles are at the top of many people’s ‘Must See’ lists when they visit Alberta. However, you have to bear in mind that walking on ice can be very dangerous. The thickness of ice is very variable and you never know where there are air gaps. It is sensible to stay closer to the shore and wear ice cleats because it is very slippery. There are several viewing spots along the David Thompson Highway for example. You could also head out with an experienced guide.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © CoolPhoto2/

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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