There’s something consistently breathtaking when you make time for diving in your travels. Each location you explore may be distinct from the rest, but over time, you might find yourself itching for the kind of scenery that can’t be found anywhere else. When you reach that point, it’s time to head to Kazakhstan. The landlocked former Soviet country may seem like an odd place to go diving, but that’s exactly what makes it so special.
Located in the Southeastern Tian Shan mountain range lies one of the most otherworldy lakes that one can possibly find on the planet we call Earth. It’s not that there aren’t any other beautiful lakes worth exploring. Lake Kaindy, however, stands apart because it’s both a lake and a submerged forest. The phenomenon may seem counterintuitive, but it’s the result of a natural disaster, much like many of our other natural wonders.
Just over a century ago, a large earthquake hit the middle of the forest, which created a natural dam out of the debris. With each successive rain that emptied itself into this new basin, the water began to build up, swirling around the trees that had grown there for centuries. There was nowhere for it to drain, turning the area into a relatively new lake, while the old forest was still submerged underneath.
If it’s not the petrified trees jutting over the water’s surface that strike you, then you’ll just have to head below the water to see something truly spectacular. Though this forest has been submerged for more than 100 years, due to the frigid alpine temperatures, the pine needles on the trees were preserved within the water for all this time. Between the leaves and the other organic life growing within, Lake Kaindy is a rainbow of breathtaking blues and teals should you decide to visit.