Whimsical ice platforms on Lake Baikal
Even with prolonged low temperatures, a lake's ice cover can gradually shrink. This is due to the thermal radiation of daylight. Overlying stones shield them from underneath while the remaining ice is being removed. So they eventually find themselves balancing on a pillar.
In our regions you can sometimes find stones, leaves and branches lying in a hollow on frozen water, as if they had sunk there under their own weight. The impression is deceptive. Rather, they absorb direct solar radiation and therefore warm up above the freezing point. If the temperatures are not too low, melt water is first formed and then, with its evaporation, a precisely fitting hollow that becomes deeper and deeper with prolonged exposure to the sun. The ice itself is largely transparent and absorbs little solar energy. It will therefore hardly be attacked in untouched areas in the area.
Sometimes the opposite can be observed, for example in the case of prolonged low temperatures on snow-free, frozen lakes such as Lake Baikal in Siberia. There, stones are also surrounded by a hollow, only instead of lying in it, they seem to float above it. In fact, they are supported by a narrow ice pedestal protruding from the depression. Because of the visual similarity to stone towers used for meditation, such finds are sometimes referred to as Zen stones…