Photos: explore an underwater park...

In Austria, find one of the world's most unique parks. Warning – you'll need a snorkel to visit.

It might not be the lost city of Atlantis, but Austria's Grüner See is certainly an underwater visual treasure. Most of the year, visitors can walk around the park, over footpaths, bridges, and sit on benches. But every summer, snowmelt from the Karst mountains means the park is suddenly submerged in cold, clear, water. Scuba diver Marc Henauer from Switzerland nabbed these incredible photos – we suggest you dive right in.
 

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Above and below
Water covering trees, bridges and footpath.

Above and below

Twelve metres of water covers trees, footpaths, benches and bridges that are usually accessible throughout the year.

© Marc Henauer/Solent News
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Liquid light
A diver enjoying the underwater view.

Liquid light

Henauer was particularly pleased with the lighting during the day of the shoot. “We were lucky that the sun created fantastic light rays through the water,” he says.

© Marc Henauer/Solent News
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A submerged seat
A bench under the water surface.

A submerged seat

This bench, normally above the water surface, could work kind of like a hot tub, letting you keep just your head above water. One problem: lakes formed by snowmelt aren't exactly 'bathing temperature'.

© Marc Henauer/Solent News
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Crossing the bridge
A diver crossing a bridge.

Crossing the bridge

Says diver and photographer Marc Henauer: “Swimming over the green grass, flowers, paths, rocks and trees was like being in a fairy tale.”

© Marc Henauer/Solent News
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Surface scenery
Divers getting into the water.

Surface scenery

Even before you get below the surface, the picturesque scenery surrounding Grüner See is simply stunning.

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Take a breathing break
The flood water creating a new world.

Take a breathing break

Getting the full set of shots wasn't easy, and in fact, it took quite some time. “My wife and I stayed there for seven days,” says Henauer. “We did three dives every day, spending one hour on each dive.”

© Marc Henauer/Solent News
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The right light
Diving against a flooded tree.

The right light

Henauer adds: “All pictures were taken in natural light without a flash.”

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A path for reflection
A Bench flooded by water.

A path for reflection

The proximity of the bench to the surface indicates the water level. “Diving is possible only for a month in the spring,” says Henauer. “Throughout the year the depth of the lake is too low.”

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Picture perfection
Diving over a footpath underwater.

Picture perfection

Says Henauer: “I am very delighted with the result because we had a lot of problems with the heavy rain, thunderstorms and wind.”

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A bridge in un-troubled water

A bridge in un-troubled water

There are many bridges in the world you can swim under. This is one of the few you can swim over.

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Seeing clearly

Seeing clearly

Most impressive for Henauer? The 'viz', short for 'visibility', diver-slang used to indicate how clear the water is. “The visibility is just incredible,” he says. “Usually you only see water like this in tropical seas.”

© Marc Henauer/Solent News
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