The Amazing Underwater Forest of Lake Kaindy

What makes Lake Kaindy truly remarkable is that it contains an underwater forest. Visible on the lakes surface are the tall, dried-out tops of submerged Spruce trees that rise above the water’s surface like the masts of sunken ships. They are the only sign of the amazing frozen forest below the water’s surface.

The water is so cold (even in summer the temperature does not exceed 6 degrees) that the pine needles remain on the trees, even after a hundred years of being submerged. During the winter, the lake freezes and becomes a popular spot for ice diving.

The lake is 400 meters long and is located in Kazakhstan’s portion of the Tian Shan Mountains, about 129 km from the city of Almaty. The lake was created after an earthquake in 1911 triggered a large landslide blocking the gorge and forming a natural dam.

(ESA)  Earth from Space - Tian Shan mountains, Central Asia

The Tian Shan mountains, stretching across the border region of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and western China, are pictured in this image, acquired on 7 September 2011 by Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS).

The large, dark lake that splits the mountain range in eastern Kyrgyzstan (lower-left corner) is the second largest saline lake after the Caspian Sea. In the upper-right corner are the Dzungarian Basin and its Gurbantunggut Desert in light brown.