Located in a village called Tragöß, in the state of Styria, Austria, the lake Grüner See is a sight to behold. The picture perfect landscape of its surroundings can only be described as something out of fantasy books, while the lake itself is far from extraordinary. Nearby are the Hochschwab Mountains capped with snow that melts during the spring season and fills the lake. The sight only lasts for a few weeks during the spring as the water level rises and falls with approaching winter.
Grüner See literally translates to “Green Lake”. The lake appears emerald green because of the submerged foliage and grassy land under it.
Though the bottom is slightly rocky the lake supports a few varieties of plant life while its not full. It has a mildly grassy meadow and an abundance of greenery around that is part of Hochschwab forest. As the spring arrives the whole scenery is changed from a park that attracts trekkers and hikers to a lake that no diver would want to miss.
The lake reaches its full depth during spring between mid-May and June, and starts receding in July as winter progresses.
During the winters, when the water is high up on the mountains as snow, the area around the lake is used as a park for the county. Its depth at this time is not more than 1 to 2 meters and occupies an area of 2000 square feet. In spring it rises to almost 12 feet with an area of almost 4000 square feet.
The water is crystal clear and gives a spectacular view of the park meadow submerged underneath.
As the water is fresh from the snowcaps free of impurities the visibility under the lake is amazing. It has become quite popular among tourists, divers, photographers and nature lovers. The clarity of water is said to be so good its visibility is often compared to that of tropical waters. Along with the greenery animated life also thrives in the freshly filled lake. Trout, small crabs and larvae begin to enjoy the benefits of spring’s warmth and increased prospects.
Because of the foliage and grass of the park under the water Grüner See’s water appears a beautiful hue of emerald green.
The submerged tree trunks and branches, paths, park benches and big rocks make the bottom of the lake look like a wonderland, as if there is a civilization underwater. The vision is perfected with the sun streaming down in beams from the surface of the water. The ripples and waves make waves of light on the ground making it almost a surreal experience.
As the climate gets warm, and spring begins, the snowcaps of Hochschwab Mountains start to melt and flow into the lake filling it completely.
Hochschwab Mountains belong to the eastern part of the Northern Limestone Alps in Austria. They are karst limestone ranges reaching high enough to form snowcaps. The mountains and the lake form an interesting cycle with the water turned into snow during winters and returning to the lake during spring. The temperature of the water is said to be somewhere between 6 and 7 degrees centigrade.
[sources: 1, 2, 3, 4]