Mount Zao in Japan is a popular destination for skiers and hikers year-round. During the winter, many come to see vertically piled heaps of snow that collect around the mountain. (okama crater lake)
Some call them snow monsters.
But during the rest of the year, the mountain’s most famous feature is its lake: Okama Crater Lake. “Okama” means pot in Japanese, referring to the crater’s shape. The lake is well known for the way its water changes color.
Because of this variation, which is largely dependent on weather, it is also known as Five Color Lake.
There are many reasons that a lake can change color. For example:
- Spring algae growth can produce green water;
- organisms can eat excess algae, making the water clear;
- or sunlight can bleach organic matter to give water a faded color.
Okama Crater Lake’s color changes are due to similar natural processes.