Tall evergreen trees line the yellow coast of a blue lake, and patches of ice surround the surface under bright sunlight.

Singing ice on a Mono Basin freshwater lake

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on December 5, 2020. As winter ’23-’24 starts out cold and fairly dry, we’ve been enjoying more singing ice on local freshwater lakes, so we’re bringing back this post!

Today’s Mono Lake Moment sits you down on the side of a frozen freshwater lake in the Mono Basin to listen to it sing and crack in the warming sun. The sounds shoot through the ice and rumble below the surface as the sun’s energy alters the temperature of the ice. The cracks release pressure the ice is holding. It is a wonderful and bizarre phenomenon to behold—turn up the volume for this one!

Find all the other Moments we have filmed here at the Mono Lake Moments tag on our Videos pageYou can also view the entire series on our YouTube channel.

Top photo by Nora Livingston.