Monday, May 31, 2010

Inside Ice-filled Alpine Lake

These stunning shots show the beautiful and eerie underwater world of a Swiss ice-filled Alpine lake.

Taken in Lake Sassolo, close to the southern border with Italy, these were taken by diving photographer Franco Banfi.
Although the high altitude region is known for its sunny weather, the lake was formed by the run-off of the Alps surrounding it.

The giant ice structures dwarf the tiny divers as they explore the nooks and crannies of the icebergs.

The pictures show the lake's massive ice formations, smoothed by the flow of the water into unusual formations.
In one shot there even seems to be a face peeking out of the ice to greet the divers.
The ice forms into comb like structures and tiny tunnels are made between the metre thick slabs, allowing the divers to squeeze through and capture these unseen views.
'The water in the lake is freezing, so the best time to go is summer,' said Franco who took the pictures in June of last year.
'But it's so different from a lot of other dives you could do around the world that it's well worth a visit.

'The other issue is altitude, it's hard work carrying diving eqipment and cameras around anyway, but when the air is thinner it becomes a real test of strength,' he added.
The region is home to 140 lakes and over 3,500 miles of rivers, streams and rivers and is popular with hikers and divers.

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