By Luke Kenton
This crystal-blue lens adds another dimension of beauty to this stunning nature path, after a rare phenomenon caused it to be submerged under several feet of water.
In the riparian forest of Rio Olho d’Algua, Brazil, a renowned beauty spot, Recanto Ecologico Rio da Prata, became submerged in water after a concentration of rainfall caused two nearby rivers to burst their banks.
In a rare occurrence that happens just once every seven years, over 150mm of rainfall accumulated in the Jardim area during a single downpour on February 2, causing over three metres of water to immerse much of the surrounding forest.
Beneath the crystal blue cascade, a hauntingly still scene of luscious plants, motionless tress and an abandoned bridge remain preserved and untouched, as if abandoned decades before.
Lasting just two days before draining away, the ecotourism attraction quickly returned to business as usual, as the once-watery wonder, laden with fish, dried out to its familiar woodland state.
Still overwhelmed at the “beautiful accident” caused by the flooding, environmental director of Rio da Prata, Luiza Coelho, said: “It rained a lot in the region, making the Miranda and Prata rivers overflow.
“This usually happens about once every seven years, but this year was the highest level of water there’s ever been.
“It was really incredible to see this beautiful phenomenon – it was a real beautiful accident.
“Unfortunately, due to safety concerns, tourists couldn’t have access to the full trail length, because it’s very hard to swim the entire length of the trail, particularly with unknown river conditions.
“The water is so clear because the entire water basin is preserved by a private reserve; there is a high concentration of calcium carbonates and minerals in the water.
“The fish had a blast because they ate insects from the trees directly and the leaves.
“They were constantly seen nibbling, leaves and branches.
“Afterwards [once the water had drained], the trail was very damp, the wood infrastructures were very moldy, but nothing was impaired or broken.”