Lake Kaindy: Kazakhstan’s Submerged Forest

Published February 11, 2014
Updated April 3, 2018

Lake Kaindy draws thousands of visitors each year with its unearthly, limestone-blue water and submerged forest that pokes out from the water's surface.

In Lake Kaindy, trees poke from the water’s surface like misplaced toothpicks, presenting an intriguing portrait for visitors and tourists. This incredible sunken forest was created in 1911 as a byproduct of the 7.7 magnitude Kebin earthquake.

The earthquake, which destroyed more than 700 buildings, triggered a massive limestone landslide that formed a natural dam. Over time, rainfall and water flowed into the area, covering the trees that grew there.

Aerial View of the Lake

Source: Panoramio

Boaters in Lake in Kazakhstan

Source: BlogBahni

Located in Kazakhstan, Lake Kaindy is about 400 meters long, reaching depths of nearly 30 meters at its deepest point. Part of the lake’s draw is its beautiful, almost unnatural bluish-green water. Altered by limestone deposits in the area, Lake Kaindy maintains a coloring wholly different from other lakes.

Limestone Water in Lake Kaindy

Source: Zach Travel

Since Lake Kaindy is around 2,000 meters above sea level, the water is incredibly cold—only six degrees Celsius—which has helped to preserve the Schrenk’s Spruce trees submerged underwater. From below the water, the trees look more like shipwreck remains than an age-old forest. In most lakes, submerged trees will rot or break down over time, yet because of Lake Kaindy’s specific conditions, the trees have remained in tact for decades.

Underwater Tree Limbs

Source: Check Diving

Lake Kaindy Photographs

Source: System Shock

Schrenks Spruce Branches Poking Out

Source: From the Web

These days, Lake Kaindy draws numerous visitors for its spectacular coloring and the odd tree limbs that poke from its surface. Due to the extremely cold water temperatures, those who enter the water must don wetsuits or other protective gear.

This Kazakhstani lake is only about 80 miles from Almaty, one of Kazakhstan’s major cities, making it an easily accessible tourist attraction.

Pictures Of Lake Kaindy In Kazakhstan

Source: Vimeo

Kiri Picone
Kiri Picone holds a B.A. in English and creative writing from Pepperdine University and has been writing for various digital publishers for more than 10 years.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.