SCIENCE

Unique volcano “spewing ice” in Kazakhstan

Photos and videos of ice volcanoes in Almaty recently went viral on social media, attracting a large number of visitors to these barren steppes to admire.

The steppe of Kazakhstan’s Almaty region is not the most popular with tourists, especially in winter, but an unusual phenomenon has attracted a lot of tourists to it recently.

Located between the two villages of Kegen and Shyrganak in the middle of the snow-capped plateau is an ice volcano 14 meters high that continuously gushes out water, turning the water into ice almost instantly.

A volcano is a fracture in the crust of a planet like Earth that allows lava, volcanic ash, and gas to escape from a magma furnace below the surface. However, thanks to its unique structure, the ice volcano looks like a miniature volcano, only instead of hot lava, it spits out water.

The scene has become popular among locals as well, being hunted for special images by netizens to post on their personal social networking sites.

According to a recent Instagram post, the ice volcano is the result of an underground stream that gushes all year round. In the summer, it produces a verdant vegetation that spans tens of meters around it, but in winter, when the temperature drops below 0 degrees Celsius, the water freezes creating an icy volcanic cone. It continues to spray water around, creating a natural ice rink.

Photos and videos of ice volcanoes in Almaty recently went viral on social media, attracting a large number of visitors to these barren steppes to admire.

The ice volcano is a four-hour drive from the Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan, formerly Astana. As a result, some drove for a few hours just to witness the strange natural formation.

Locals said this was the first year the volcano erupted, previous years only had a smaller and hollow ice cone.

Samal Zhainak, a local resident, said: “Last year, there were no water jets that looked like a fountain, but only a hollow cone.”

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