Rune Pettersen/YouTube

Man makes fire from frozen lake by cracking the ice

But don’t try this at home.


Cynthia McKelvey

Internet Culture

Published Sep 3, 2015   Updated May 28, 2021, 1:06 am CDT

Today on the aptly-named subreddit, /r/woahdude, user SlimJones123 posted a GIF of a man appearing to puncture a hole in a frozen lake and lighting the emerging gas on fire. The same user also posted the source video, titled “Fun with burning methane on a lake First experiment.”

The man in the video is using his knife to free methane gas trapped below the ice. Methane, which is produced in human farts, is highly flammable. But it’s also a natural part of the decay process.

According to the Smithsonian, methane bubbles in frozen lakes in the arctic circle are both normal and common. They’re produced as bacteria metabolize decaying matter on the floor of the lake and “poop” out methane as a waste product. However, “decreasing permafrost means more and more of this methane is being released into the atmosphere, a worrying trend for climate scientists who note that methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.”

So for your sake and the environment’s probably best not to go trying to light any nature farts on fire this winter.

Screengrab via Rune Pettersen/YouTube

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*First Published: Sep 3, 2015, 3:45 pm CDT