burning methane on a lake

12:27 p.m. on January 1, 2016 (EST)
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5,429 forum posts


The sight of a frozen lake might inspire you to think about peace, beauty, or the majesty of nature, but it’s probably never given you visions of fiery explosions. Today we’d like to change that, and, hopefully, encourage you not to smoke by a frozen lake ever again. In this video, you will witness a man crack a hole in a frozen lake, strike a match, and create a plume of fire. This phenomenon isn't caused by pollution but instead is thanks to an incredible act of nature.

What he is igniting is methane gas. The gas is produced by degrading bacterial organic matter in the mud at the bottom of the lake. When the top of the lake freezes over this gas gets trapped under the ice. When enough builds up, the fire can last for a long time, even long enough to boil a pot of coffee, as you’ll see. 

February 29, 2020
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