As It Happens

PHOTOS: Frozen bubbles make Alberta lake pop for photographer

At first glance they might look like jelly fish, but they're actually frozen bubbles trapped beneath the surface of lakes. Canadian landscape photographer Paul Zizka has captured stunning images of the phenomenon. Some of his shots have just been published in the UK's Guardian newspaper....
One of Paul Zizka's beautiful bubble pictures taken on a Banff lake (courtesy of Paul Zizka)

At first glance they might look like jelly fish, but they're actually frozen bubbles trapped beneath the surface of lakes. Canadian landscape photographer Paul Zizka has captured stunning images of the phenomenon. Some of his shots have just been published in the UK's Guardian newspaper.


Although Zizka had seen the bubbles before, it was on a recent outing to Banff's Lake Minnewanka that he took his best photographs. He tells As it Happens host Carol Off, "It was pretty exciting to just go for a skate on the lake and upon arriving at the far end -- about 20 to 25 kilometres away from the car -- to stumble upon this huge area. It made for a very surreal skating experience."

"Thankfully, I always bring the camera gear with me so I was able to lie down on the ice for an hour or so at the far end and try and document it," he says. 

 The bubbles are actually flammable methane gas. The methane is released by decaying organic matter at the bottom of lakes. If the temperature gets low enough, the bubbles freeze making for beautiful photographs.

"Some years they freeze better than others. This year they seem to have an amazing amount of detail to them," Zizka says.  

Here are some more photos of Paul Zizka's frozen bubbles:

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For more of of Paul Zizka's work you can check out his website, here.

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