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Hidden Wonders

[Hidden Wonders of Japan] The 'Floating' Ice Bubbles of Lake Nukabira

January to February is the best time to see the ice bubbles of Lake Nukabira in Hokkaido, a fascinating phenomenon that only occurs when the lake freezes over.



Ice bubbles beneath the surface of Lake Nukabira in Kamishihoro, Hokkaido on October 10. (©Kyodo)

Beneath the surface of Lake Nukabira in Kamishihoro, Hokkaido, ice bubbles form due to trapped gas in the frozen lake. On the morning of January 10, the sunlight revealed layers of round, white discs "floating" in the ice, like something out of a sci-fi movie.

Snow needs to be removed to see the ice bubbles. (©Kyodo)

The Higashitaisetsu Nature Center, a local non-profit organization providing guided tours, explains that this phenomenon occurs from early January to February when the lake freezes over. To see the bubbles, the blanket of snow from the past few months needs to be removed from the lake's surface.

The Center advises visitors to watch their steps, as gas bubbles have formed depressions on the icy surface.


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: The Sankei Shimbun

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