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Nature and man combine to create stunning ‘ice mushrooms’ in Amur region

By The Siberian Times reporter
09 January 2019

Stunning sculptures appear hanging on trees that were submerged by a giant new reservoir.

When the Niznhe-Bureyskaya hydro power station was opened in 2017, an area of pristine taiga was flooded. 

High trees were submerged by the reservoir. 

But the water level of the reservoir can vary significantly. 

As it dipped officials at the noticed the ‘mushrooms’ made of ice and sprinkled with snow on the tops of partially submerged trees. 

Senior wildlife official Andrey Tarasov said: 'The so-called 'mushrooms' are half manmade, and the rest is a natural phenomenon.

‘When a hydroelectric plant discharges water, the level of the reservoir changes dramatically. The water lowers."

It also freezes. 

Ice mushrooms park Russia

Ice mushrooms park Russia

Ice mushrooms park Russia

Ice mushrooms park Russia

Ice mushrooms park Russia

Ice mushrooms in the Far East of Russia. Pictures: Anatoly Isayev

‘In winter trees in the flooded areas have solid chunks of ice stuck to them, sometimes quite oddly shaped,' he said. 

‘And then there is the work of the wind which brings the 'mushrooms' to perfection, trimming them and giving the appearance of ice sculptures.’

The beautiful 'mushrooms' can be as tall as a man, say locals. 

A nature park around the reservoir is some 200 kilometres from the city of Blagoveshchensk.

Ice mushrooms park Russia, pictures by Anatoly Isayev for AmPravda

Ice mushrooms park Russia

Ice mushrooms park Russia

Ice mushrooms park Russia

Ice mushrooms park Russia

Ice mushrooms park Russia

Ice mushrooms park Russia

Ice mushrooms park Russia

Ice mushrooms park Russia

Ice mushrooms park Russia

Comments (3)

Eugene Simonov,

Nature creates billions of ice-traps and other related hazards on streams, ponds and lakes in the north-lands, every winter. We find frozen mammoths and lions in the old permafrost muck, because nature itself created the traps that killed - and preserved - them.

Siberia is a very, very large place. It can afford to lose some smidgen of land-area to hydroelectric reservoirs. Electricity is important, vital, and there is no smoke from hydro. It's renewable.

Furthermore, migratory birds are helped by additional water-bodies, in areas that lack them, and some do. Water-life is important to the ecology, and created lakes serve in this habitat-role too.

Dramatic fall of water-level on streams and water-bodies in the far North, is the normal & typical pattern. The annual northern water-cycle begins with break-up & spring-melt, which typically causes flooding. These floods replenish water-bodies both natural and man-made.

During the short summer, northern regions often receive a disproportionate share of their annual precipitation, augmenting the melt-waters.

Then come fall, and on through the long winter, any precipitation is frozen and locked in-place on the ground. Surface-waters of all kinds are frozen, and cease to contribute to stream-flow and lake-levels. Perched-ice and air-holes are ubiquitous ... and dangerous. Depleted winter water inventories are an important fact of natural life, in the North.

You err on two counts, Eugene. Meeting the valid needs of humans does not cause as-much nor as-unique damage as suggested - nor are the effects all bad! But somewhat more of a 'sin', is attempting to depict nature as without hazard and destruction, itself. In Hollywood, Walt Disney flicks, ok ... but in serious people, this is a short-coming.

Please reconsider the condemnation. You could not participate in this forum, without electricity. Siberians need it too, and this reservoir is a balance of positive and negative effects ... which we also observe in untouched nature.

Thank you!

Ted Clayton, Forks, Washingtion USA
13/01/2019 00:17
What are you so happy about?
These "mushrooms" are grown on the dry trunks of dead trees of a forest submerged and killed by hydropower reservoir.
This phenomenon of water lowering while reservoir is frozen creates ice traps in which deer and other wildlife falls in and dies.
From my perspective celebrating this as artwork shows complete lack of awareness what you actually see. It is like trying to discern unusual beauty in frozen corpses...
Eugene Simonov, Dalian, China
12/01/2019 15:28
That's a trip alright! Good score on the pics, nice collection.

It's breaking off the snags and clearing them out sooner than it would take otherwise. Underwater parts and stumps can last a long time submerged.

Don't get underneath them ... or drive your boat fast when there's nothing above-water anymore.
Ted Clayton , Forks, Washington USA
10/01/2019 01:10

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