The lake’s furthest visibility is 81.4 meters and is stable at 70 to 80 meters – which is optically equivalent to distilled water.
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Rotomairewhenua, also known as the Green Lake of Nelson Lakes National Park in New Zealand, is officially recognized as the cleanest freshwater lake in the world.
The water of Blue Lake originates from the neighboring glacial lake Constance and flows through a natural dam formed long ago as a result of a landslide. This dam inadvertently acts as a natural filter and traps most of the particles suspended in the icy waters of Lake Constance. The water is filtered and then flows into Green Lake, making the water of Green Lake almost as clear as distilled water.
In 2011, New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) conducted scientific tests and declared that Blue Lake is the clearest natural lake of all freshwater sources known to man.
In 2009, Rob Merriles, a hydrologist working at NIWA, visited Blue Lake. He took a sample of the water here and compared it with water from the famous freshwater springs of Lake Te Waikoropupu.
The results surprised Rob: the optical performance of the Blue Lake water was far superior to that of Te Waikoropupu. Two years later, NIWA research confirmed this to be correct.
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“We hung a black disc with a diameter of 1 meter to the buoy and fixed it to the shore. Then we swam away while our eyes did not leave the disc. The distance at which the disc disappeared completely from the mainline of sight. is the vision,” explains Mark Gall of NIWA.
Research results have shown: The longest visibility under the lake bed is 81.4 meters, and it is stable at 70 to 80 meters – which is equivalent to optically distilled water.
Blue Lake is located at an altitude of 1,200 meters above sea level, so the water in the lake is always 5-8 degrees Celsius. For hundreds of years, Ngati Apa ki te Ra To – an indigenous Maori people, considers it an in sacred lake called Rotomairewhenua, or lakes of peaceful lands. They do not allow strangers to come near the lake let alone swim in its water.
Traditionally, the Maori people used the water in the Blue Lake to wash the bones of the deceased men of the tribe. The women’s bones were cleaned in nearby Lake Constance.
The ritual of sending off souls to the afterlife was performed on the journey from Blue Lake, along a sacred path, to Cape Farewell. The last remains were interred in the Sabine Valley.
Kiley Nepia, cultural manager of the Maori people on the South Island, says he felt a spiritual connection to Blue Lake when he first came here. “I understand why our ancestors chose this lake to perform rituals.
When you get there, you will have a real sense of serenity. For the church, baptismal water, or blessed water, is sacred, and these are holy waters for the people of Ngati Apa ki te Ra To,” Nepia said.
In early 2013, Danish photojournalist and environmentalist Klaus Thyemann received special permission from the Maori tribe, NIWA, and New Zealand’s Department of Conservation to visit Blue Lake and take pictures.