Creating a fiery torch from the smooth surface of a frozen lake is one of the more interesting natural phenomenon of late. Here’s how you get fire from ice.
Rune Petterson moves around a frozen lake searching for what appear to be common, frozen air bubbles in the clear ice. What he does upon finding them is rather uncommon. He sets them alight with a match, creating columns of flame.
In at least one location he appears to have devised a cooking stove, so to speak, from nothing more than the icy surface of the lake, upon which to boil his coffee.
Although winter weather may slow down natural processes, they do not necessarily cease completely. Organic matter continues to rot and decay, even in freezing conditions, albeit at a much slower rate. But no matter how slow the process becomes, the byproducts of such decay continue to be generated.
That is what we see in this video as methane gas resulting from the decay of organic matter both in a lake as well as under a lake bed continues to be produced. The gas bubbles up through the water where it is released into the air, or, as in the case of many lakes that freeze over in winter, gets trapped in pockets just under the ice.
When the ice is breached by a sharp object such as a knife, the methane gas is released and will often ignite upon reacting with oxygen.
This makes for a very interesting natural phenomenon: a naked flame seeming to hover just above the frozen surface of a winter lake.
Such pockets of trapped methane can also be dangerous, as they may, if substantial, create an explosion upon combustion.