Lake Kaindy: Kazakhstan’s Submerged Forest

In Lake Kaindy, trees poke from the water’s surface like misplaced toothpicks, presenting an intriguing portrait for visitors and tourists.

This incredible sunken forest was created in 1911 as a byproduct of the 7.7 magnitude Kebin earthquake. The earthquake, which destroyed more than 700 buildings, triggered a massive limestone landslide that formed a natural dam. Over time, rainfall and water flowed into the area, covering the trees that grew there.

Located in Kazakhstan, Lake Kaindy is about 400 meters long, reaching depths of nearly 30 meters at its deepest point. Part of the lake’s draw is its beautiful, almost unnatural bluish-green water. Altered by limestone deposits in the area, Lake Kaindy maintains a coloring wholly different from other lakes.

Since Lake Kaindy is around 2,000 meters above sea level, the water is incredibly cold—only six degrees Celsius—which has helped to preserve the Schrenk’s Spruce trees submerged underwater. From below the water, the trees look more like shipwreck remains than an age-old forest. In most lakes, submerged trees will rot or break down over time, yet because of Lake Kaindy’s specific conditions, the trees have remained in tact for decades.

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