For centuries, humans have been fascinated by optical illusions. It's even more fascinating when these illusions appear in nature.
Lake Sørvágsvatn gives travelers different angles, leading it to be dubbed an illusion-causing lake. The lake, also known asLeitisvatn Lake, sits as the largest lake on Island Vágar of the Faroe Islands.
Lake Sørvágsvatn proves that perspective matters. The below picture, taken from 100 meters above at an angle, makes the lake appear much higher than the North Atlantic ocean.
However, the lake only sits 30 meters above sea level.
In the above picture, the lake appears to sit on the same level as the cuesta. However, looking at the photo below, viewers can tell the lake sits on a gentle slope. The below picture gives a direct view of the Bøsdalafossur waterfall, which is the Lake's outlet into the Atlantic.
Higher cuestas surround Lake Sørvágsvatn at 252 and 376 meters on each side. Those cuestas obscure the view at different angles, thus adding to the illusion. The cuestas also funnel water to Bøsdalafossur waterfall.
The name Sørvágsvatn means 'The lake of Sørvágur' and covers an area of 3.4 square km. That's at least three times bigger than the next largest lake on the island, Lake Fjallavatn.
A Unique History
The island also held a historical role during the British occupancy of the Faroe Islands in World War II. Sitting near important geopolitical points, the British built an airfield on Faroe to be used against to potential German warships. The British Royal Engineers built the airport to the west of the Lake Sørvágsvatn, a point obscured from enemies.
Plenty of other mysteries and histories can be told on the Faroe Islands. The magic of nature can fill one's Instagram feed, illusions aside.
Nowadays, the locals of Miðvágur and Sørvágur debate about the lake's name. Should it stay as Sørvágur or be renamed as Leitisvatn is the question on the community's mind.
Whether you look at the lake from straight on or at an illusion-casting angle, Lake Sørvágsvatn provides absolutely breathtaking views.
Written by Tamar Melike Tegün