The words “ice” and “volcano” might appear to be total opposites, but not in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where an ice volcano is drawing crowds this winter.
The 45-foot ice mound, currently occurring in the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan, is caused by an underground hot spring that occasionally launches hot water and steam into the air. Water freezes around the edges of the spout and builds up, forming a hollow mound. While there is no lava flowing from the mound, its steaming top gives it the appearance of a volcano.
According to the Weather Channel, “Though the ice cone resembles a volcano, its formation is in no way connected to any actual volcanic eruption. The ice structure is formed when the water from the underground hot spring spews up into the air, and gradually freezes as it falls back down. The process gives rise to an impressive cone-like structure on an icy plain. True to its nature, this ice volcano is also oozing out water particles from the top of its hollow structure.”