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  • Falak Vadhan

Pop Me Not!

A bizarre yet beautiful phenomenon occurs every winter in many lakes of Canada. Trapped methane frozen bubbles appear to hang in suspended animations below the surface of frozen lakes. This phenomenon is called the “Frozen Methane Bubbles”. So let’s find out how this phenomenon occurs.

According to scientists, dead organic matter like trees, leaves and animals fall into the water and sink to the bottom. The bacteria consume them and emit methane gas bubbles that rise to the surface of the water. During winters, these bubbles get trapped under the frozen lake surface and appear like bubbles frozen below the surface of the water. The whole phenomenon produces a magical landscape. The photographs of this mind-blowing phenomenon have created a lot of buzz on social media. People marveled at its beauty but at the same time, people were horrified after knowing how dangerous these beautiful-looking bubbles are.

While mostly harmless, methane is a highly inflammable gas. So if we were to pop one of these bubbles and hold a lit matchstick over it, explosive consequences would follow. Although these bubbles may seem enchanting to look at, they are hazardous to the environment. In the summer, as the lakes melt, the bubbles simply pop up and enter the atmosphere causing global warming. Although methane doesn’t remain in the atmosphere for long like carbon dioxide, its heat-trapping effect makes it potentially far more deleterious to our climate. So next time you come across such mesmerizing frozen bubbles, resist the temptation to pop them !!

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