Each year, a seasonal melting of snow at Green Lake in Tragoess, Austria, creates a fabulous underwater world. During warmer times in the year, twelve meters of water floods the park that is next to the scenic lagoon, enlarging the lake from an area of 2000 square meters to 4000, doubling its size. This happens when snow atop the Karst mountains thaws and the lake submerges everything around it, including the park items like the small bridges or one of the park benches.
Coming from the mountains, the waters are immaculately clear and are extremely cold at a temperature of seven degrees Celsius. During winter, the lake is only 1–2 meters deep and the surrounding area is used as a county park. Come spring, and as the the snow melts, the basin of land down the mountains fills up with water.
The lake reaches its deepest of around 12 meters from mid-May to June and is said to look the most amazing at this time. When July comes, the water starts to recede. The name “Green Lake” came about because of the emerald-green waters.
Travelling diver Marc Henauer from Switzerland, heard about this remarkable annual transformation. With scuba gear in tow, he took these beautiful photos that show the park in its submerged version, looking much like a life-sized aquarium. The lake is a favorite among divers particularly in June when the water is at its highest.
Henauer spoke of his experience diving into the most unusual environment,
“When I was underwater, it felt like I was swimming in a magical world, it was so beautiful. Swimming over the green grass, flowers, paths, rocks and trees was like being in a fairy tale. All pictures were taken in natural light without a flash. I am very delighted with the result because we had a lot of problems with the heavy rain, thunderstorms and wind. We only had a very short time to take images when the sun was in a perfect position. Diving is possible only for a month in the spring. Throughout the year the depth of the lake is too low. The visibility is just incredible. Usually you only see water like this in tropical seas.”
See Hanauer’s spectacular images of the flooded park here.