Believe it or not, toxic and highly-flammable methane bubbles are actually trapped just inches beneath the surface of the ice in lakes across Alaska. When popped, the methane escapes the bubbles and then ignites in spectacular explosions. Continue reading for a video and more information.

According to Katey, an ecologist at the University of Alaska, “What’s coming out of Arctic lakes is troubling, because some of it seems to be coming not from the bottom mud, but from deeper geologic reservoirs that had been securely capped by permafrost. And that contain hundreds of times more methane than is in the atmosphere now.”