Earthquakes are powerful forces of nature that can destroy pretty much anything. But with all the movement that they create, quakes can also be a force for creating new formations and waterways. Take Lake Kaindy in Kazakhstan — it’s a lake that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for an earthquake.
Back in 1911, the Earth shook and rumbled in the Tian Shan Mountains, letting loose a massive amount of limestone rubble that fell down the rock faces to dam off a small area of forest. After rains came over a number of years, the area filled in with water, creating Lake Kaindy. Limestone dust from the rubble may very well have a hand in coloring the lake’s water a bright turquoise.
That rain falls isn’t too surprising, but the lakescape that it left behind is quite striking when compared to other lakes around the world. And that is mostly because the spruce trees submerged in the lake are still there, bare and aged with time.
They don’t have any needles above water, but there are still plenty on the trees beneath the surface. This preservation is owed, many say, to the cold water temperatures in the lake that stick to just above freezing around the year.
As for its watery inhabitants, it is not clear that Kaindy Lake has any. There is a report that some visitors to the lake enjoy trout fishing. But some visitors to the lake say that it’s really hard to get to, necessitating the use of a four-wheeler to make it over one of the few roads that go to it.
There are other similar sunken forests in the world, including at Lake Bezid in Transylvania; Lake Periyar in India; and Lake Caddo in Texas.
Have you ever seen a submerged forest in a lake? What other effects can earthquakes have on lakes? Please consider leaving a comment to share your thoughts!