This looks like a most perfect spot.
Walking on water sounds like the stuff of miracles, but there’s nothing supernatural at work in the clip above. Watch as two hikers in Slovakia’s High Tatra Mountains walk across a lake that’s frozen so clearly, they look to be walking on water.
Tomas Nunuk posted the clip on 8 December. Since then, the footage has garnered more than three million views, with some viewers expressing both astonishment and scepticism.
“This is a good example of how beautiful the world can be when it’s not tainted by humans,” said YouTube user Tyler Wolff.
Chloe Bateman, on the other hand, questioned the authenticity of the 0:39-long video: “surely you would record this for longer if in fact it was legit.”
Several scientists have come to the video’s defence, including meteorologist Meghan Mussoline. “Clear ice is about twice as strong as white ice, since it is more dense,” she explained in an Accuweather video. “The ice on the frozen lake in the Slovakian Mountains was likely sufficiently thick for people to walk on due to cold air entrenched across the region since mid-November.”
Technology blog io9 featured further clarification from University of Helsinki geophysicist Matti Lepparänta. “Since the concentration of impurities is lower in congelation ice than in the lake water, the ice may be even more transparent than the water in turbid or humic lakes,” he said.
Temperatures this cold may make for some spectacular phenomena, but natural wonders are hardly in short supply in the Tatra Mountains, a region that Pope John Paul II visited on a detour from an 11-day pilgrimage to his homeland in 1997. The mountains, which form a natural border between Slovakia and Poland, are home to a huge variety of winter sports. The Low Tatras range (highest peak 2,043m) and the High Tatras (highest peak 2,564m) both come highly recommended for their natural beauty and their affordability as a skiing destination.