Hear the Otherworldly Sounds of Skating on Thin Ice | National Geographic

  • Published on Feb 9, 2018
  • This small lake outside Stockholm, Sweden, emits otherworldly sounds as Mårten Ajne skates over its precariously thin, black ice. “Wild ice skating,” or “Nordic skating,” is both an art and a science. A skater seeks out the thinnest, most pristine black ice possible-both for its smoothness, and for its high-pitched, laser-like sounds.
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    Black ice is recently frozen, and can be as thin as 2 inches and still support the weight of a skater. Like a dome or arch, the support comes from the sides rather than the top, and the water underneath prevents the ice from breaking. But, experience and careful advance planning are key. Factors including temperature, atmospheric conditions, and even satellite images of the Earth’s surface are considered. It’s complicated, but appealing to mathematicians like Ajne. Even with preparation, there’s a risk of falling in… So it’s best done in groups, for safety.
    Read about the science behind Nordic skating in "How Skating on Thin Ice Creates Laser-Like Sounds"
    Hear the Otherworldly Sounds of Skating on Thin Ice | National Geographic
    National Geographic
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Comments • 3 365

  • National Geographic
    National Geographic  6 months ago +2947

    Black ice is recently frozen and can be as thin as 2 inches! Do you think you want to try Nordic or wild ice skating? Make sure to try in groups if you do!

    • J Greek
      J Greek 7 days ago +1

      I'd like to get into wild ice skating. Where could I find some blades like those he has in 1:10 ?

    • KoivuTheHab
      KoivuTheHab 24 days ago

      ''Black ice is recently frozen and can be as thin as 2 inches!''
      Black ice can be a lot thinner than that, there isn't really a minimum thickness.
      Try harder next time, National Geographic.

    • Ocean Current
      Ocean Current 2 months ago

      National Geographic heel no and risk getting my HAIR WET!!!?

    • Patrick Beck
      Patrick Beck 2 months ago

      Could be as thin as 2 inches?? So when it freezes it just magically starts out at 2 inches?! Do you realize how dumb that sounds?

    • what about gabriel
      what about gabriel 2 months ago

      That sounds like steel cables

  • 易靜風
    易靜風 5 hours ago

    this sounds like railways when it's cold tbh (I also live in Sweden, so cold means 3 degrees or less)

  • Barenn Ghost
    Barenn Ghost 18 hours ago

    Its not really black

  • zak el
    zak el 19 hours ago

    1:33 sounds like star wars blasters

  • Bonggyu Lee
    Bonggyu Lee Day ago

    beautiful nature though

  • Jairus Psalm Infante

    These are the sounds I heard on Frozen

  • Shinji Food
    Shinji Food 2 days ago

    This is how I want my movies to feel

  • Dr Narwhal
    Dr Narwhal 2 days ago

    You can get the same sounds if you put your ear up to a slinky.

  • Steve Goodman
    Steve Goodman 2 days ago

    H6arianna grande
    Music by area on the grande Ariana Grande that’s it

  • m i n a
    m i n a 3 days ago

    This is what my lake sounds like in January once the heat of the day hits

  • Lereson sabah
    Lereson sabah 5 days ago

    i see it with one eye..other eye i cover with tape.dont judge, I'm so scared him crack and break the ice fall in to..so cold..

  • Potato 4 Life
    Potato 4 Life 6 days ago

    its rlly cool how u can see the ice cracking around him as he moves

  • Alpha Male
    Alpha Male 6 days ago

    What happens if you fall thru?

  • Méri Oliveira
    Méri Oliveira 7 days ago

    Experiência máxima!!! Sonho!!!

  • Cesar Garcia
    Cesar Garcia 7 days ago

    OMG!!! It's Jesus

  • Vaughnster 247
    Vaughnster 247 7 days ago

    It sounds like cables snapping

  • This Man
    This Man 9 days ago

    Didnt any of you ever threw a nickle on the ice? It always make that sound when you do.

  • Timmay
    Timmay 10 days ago

    Hes literally skating on thin ice

    DEFTONES LIVE 11 days ago +1

    Brings back the sounds of ice age when it crack

  • princevinny18
    princevinny18 11 days ago

    what would happen if he slips and fall on the ground ???

  • Sangar Khan
    Sangar Khan 12 days ago

    Somebody was playing chicken invaders this whole time

  • gramerpolise
    gramerpolise 13 days ago

    that asmr tho

  • FartingSpider12
    FartingSpider12 13 days ago

    The way the ice undulates when he skates over it is so cool.

  • Cheah CS
    Cheah CS 13 days ago

    'Treading on thin ice' wasn't supposed to be a literal expression.

  • bradsnow2468
    bradsnow2468 13 days ago

    So you're saying if he were to wipe out and have a hard fall it would not be a good time?

  • Cheryl Chan
    Cheryl Chan 14 days ago

    That's the sound of constant anxiety

  • Brian Adams
    Brian Adams 15 days ago

    well this sent me into an anxiety attack

  • Le Mao
    Le Mao 19 days ago

    Pew pew pew -----

  • MHD 73198
    MHD 73198 20 days ago

    an accurate audio and visual representation of my life slowly chipping away

  • EJ Black
    EJ Black 21 day ago

    I would imagine that almost constantly moving is a big factor, as well as not doing any stupid stunts like jumping

  • Beats basteln :3
    Beats basteln :3 21 day ago


  • ucoixie
    ucoixie 22 days ago

    why are there so many angry comments, just let him skate on his thin ice

  • Randy .Marsh
    Randy .Marsh 23 days ago

    If someone ever tells me that I'm skating on thin ice I'm going to jump around and make Lazer noises

  • Meth Emeth
    Meth Emeth 23 days ago

    I dont really know why it was called art and science.

  • KoivuTheHab
    KoivuTheHab 24 days ago

    They are right, 4.5cm is more than enough for this kind of newly frozen, compact and solid ice. He is so small that 3cm would carry him, guaranteed.

  • Sarcastic Duck
    Sarcastic Duck 25 days ago

    On a lake far, far away...

  • BenJaMin
    BenJaMin 25 days ago +1

    I’ve never skated in my life, but I know I don’t have the balls to do that

  • Kabegami The Great
    Kabegami The Great 25 days ago

    Isn't there a risk of cutting up your throat or stomach slamming into a pointy piece of ice?

  • Don Juan
    Don Juan 26 days ago

    *Plot Twist* Just below the surface of the ice lies the Upside Down. 🙃

  • Gustav Sejler
    Gustav Sejler 26 days ago

    I mean is not otherworldly because it is sound from our world

  • pisceanrat
    pisceanrat 26 days ago

    I wonder if we heavy set people can also skate there

  • Ginger Ninja
    Ginger Ninja 27 days ago

    Soo jealous right now. 😊

  • Frabjous
    Frabjous 28 days ago

    the ice we skate is gettin' pretty thin

  • Leonard G
    Leonard G 28 days ago

    So satisfying to hear that sound at our lake, when the ice is thin but still wobbles around from the moving water underneath.

  • s c
    s c 28 days ago


  • Terrell Cole
    Terrell Cole 28 days ago

    If I ever make a game where I need laser blaster sounds, I now know what to do.

  • Killerfist 12
    Killerfist 12 28 days ago

    this is how you walk in water

  • Michael Roper
    Michael Roper 29 days ago

    But they actually arent otherworldly because this is the world, idiot

  • Tiger In the Desert

    The environment and the sounds feel straight out of Half Life 2.

  • Bath Water
    Bath Water Month ago

    That's probably driving the fish crazy.

  • Alex Clark
    Alex Clark Month ago

    Brought to you by Cirez D.

  • Kat Rockenbach
    Kat Rockenbach Month ago

    why would someone dislike this?

  • ToxicTiki
    ToxicTiki Month ago


  • Rafinha Latvezzi
    Rafinha Latvezzi Month ago

    Just when you think you know it all, the Earth keeps amazing us with new discoveries

  • Barney Coman
    Barney Coman Month ago

    "Laser-like sounds", I wasn't aware lasers made a sound? I thought a laser is a concentrated beam of photons. Or a device that creates a 'laser beam'.

  • dayannaxx3
    dayannaxx3 Month ago

    what my mom says im doing when i dont do what she asks

  • John
    John Month ago

    As a kid, skating on Lake Erie, the ice would often crack open and the exposed water would freeze as smooth as glass, but sometimes less than an inch thick. It would be indistinguishable from the old thicker ice and we would sometimes break through. I always carried ice picks in my pocket to help pull myself out. Out of hundreds of times out skating, it only happened to me once, but skating on an open lake for miles was a thrill that was worth the risk. Watching this video took me back and put a smile on my face.

  • Matthew
    Matthew Month ago

    lol any lake will do that. and you don't have to skate on it, just throw rocks..

  • ghost in a cel
    ghost in a cel Month ago

    sounds like the noise used in crash wrath of vortex

  • MrSangos123
    MrSangos123 Month ago

    think in Russia they have a frikking river icedup highway with trailers running on it

  • Kenny
    Kenny Month ago

    yeah nah

  • Ryan Simmons
    Ryan Simmons Month ago

    how'd they get all the water under the ice

  • 600 Brand
    600 Brand Month ago

    I'm good luv, enjoy.

  • stendhal48
    stendhal48 Month ago

    I figured out what that sound is. It is a submerged World War 2 Japanese submarine pinging on standby to launch an attack not knowing the war is over.

  • My Getaway
    My Getaway Month ago

    "pew pew" *shoots laser gun

  • Carl Jasper Bulalayao

    What if Yuzuru try quads there😂

  • Bill Lowe
    Bill Lowe Month ago

    He does not lack courage.

  • Jacob Mull
    Jacob Mull Month ago

    You’re skating on thin ice buddy.


    quick someone TOSSS ME _ HAMMER ..wait i took out the a so you would not get confused

  • Natalie Sohn
    Natalie Sohn Month ago

    “Well let me just dig my grave real quick.”

  • ghostlylover99123
    ghostlylover99123 Month ago

    Sounds exactly the same as an approaching train

  • Officer Mahoney
    Officer Mahoney Month ago

    Did they amplify the sounds? I don't remember hearing those sounds when I skated on thin ice.

  • Mac III
    Mac III Month ago

    Kinda reminds me of the sounds in the loading screen of Crash Bandicoot Wrath of Cortex

  • Montana Roots
    Montana Roots Month ago

    Reminds me of the story of the tragic Spring Training death of the Polish hockey team..

  • It's not fat, dude. It's power.

    That's Nat Geo for not actually explaining the science behind this and why those sounds are being produced.

  • lee steele
    lee steele Month ago

    The fist one sounds like power lines. Sounds so relaxing.

  • Tommy V
    Tommy V Month ago

    Does sound like anything other worldly to me sounds pretty normal

    DA SILVA REBECCA Month ago

    I wish i could try it one day... skating all that giant surface 😍

  • chris69
    chris69 Month ago

    The only ice noise I like is the clink of ice cubes in my cocktail.

  • FrontMedal
    FrontMedal Month ago

    Y’all don’t here this in ur freezer

  • Dr. Gonzo
    Dr. Gonzo Month ago


  • one likecure
    one likecure Month ago

    "Wild ice skating or Nordic skating is both an art and a science"
    No it's just a form of killing yourself when you FALL THROUGH that ice

  • Rain Norris
    Rain Norris Month ago

    ....Natural selection just doing its job.

  • Regan McKee
    Regan McKee Month ago

    That guy won the war against Icesis

  • Kooch man
    Kooch man Month ago

    Stormtroopers are everywhere.

  • Zbomiaz
    Zbomiaz Month ago

    aperror is better

  • Keenan Swope
    Keenan Swope Month ago

    thin ice huge balls

  • D. Gaming Assoc.
    D. Gaming Assoc. Month ago

    I really wouldn't want to be the guy skating behind filming the guy that is chased by the cracks in the ice.

  • Claude LeBel
    Claude LeBel Month ago

    2 inches is quite thick and easily supports a skater. Even one inch might do it as long as you were on the move.

  • xodee
    xodee Month ago

    Its somehow satisfying

  • Milton Moll
    Milton Moll Month ago

    Art and science oooooh

  • Jordan_Rosenlind
    Jordan_Rosenlind Month ago

    How is one otherworldly on the earth 🌏 🤔

  • IgnatianMystic
    IgnatianMystic Month ago

    Pyoo pyooo.. Pyoopyoo pyoooo, pyoopyoooo....

  • TheSkatingPenguin
    TheSkatingPenguin Month ago


  • chii hasagi
    chii hasagi Month ago

    space invader

  • winstin win
    winstin win Month ago

    The guy skating behind videoing the first guy as the bigger balls

  • Kesateria Matahari
    Kesateria Matahari Month ago

    Black ice is dangerous. Heh.

  • SkashiVA
    SkashiVA Month ago

    I espected cracking noises and screams.

  • Eirraca K
    Eirraca K Month ago

    Neat :)

  • estaruncixHD
    estaruncixHD Month ago

    his caliper measurement wasn´t that accurate. totally moved it when he lifted it from the water