Tsuobbuoája – the turquoise spring

At the beginning of the year we had some loose plans about taking a road trip around Norway, or going to Medieval Week in Visby, or maybe even do a weekend in Copenhagen. Obviously, none of that happened.

I saw an article claiming that Swedes are one of the nationalities that travel outside their country the most, and it seems plausible. It’s a cold dark land (most of the year anyway) and people take any chance they get to leave it for a while.
But, with the travel restrictions in place, most people stayed home. Which caused its own share of problems.

Every outdoors “nature destination” was swarming with people, many of whom were inexperienced and ill-prepared. Mountain rescue services had their hands full… There were also some sad stories about how the huge numbers of tourists put a lot of stress on the reindeer. Some reindeer even got themselves killed trying to escape the invading humans and their vehicles. 🙁

Luckily we had a very late vacation time this year, so by the time we took our holiday most people were already back to work.

And we did get to do some fun things, like visiting a unique freshwater spring:

Mire with pine trees and water visible between green reeds
The marsh surrounding the spring
The water surface of a small pond with clear turquoise water

The name Tsuobbuoája means “frog spring” in one of the Sami languages. (Should be Pite Sami, but I don’t speak any of the languages so can’t say for sure.) It was named after the frogs that were seen hibernating on the bottom.

They don’t know exactly what causes the turquoise colour, but it’s assumed to be a combination of floating mud particles and algae. The spring is also a so-called “boiling spring” with bubbles protruding from the bottom. It’s not a huge amount of bubbles though, so it was impossible to photograph.

It was also impossible to photograph just how crystal clear the water is. The surface was like a mirror in the camera so all you can see are reflections of the sky and trees. But irl you could see all the way to the bottom.

According to a nearby info sign, the spring is 3 meters deep. And the edges are very steep.

A small turquoise pond surrounded by pine trees
Small pond surrounded by pine trees, with a narrow creek leading from it
Little creek leading away from the spring.
My dog runa
Dog laying down looking up at Markus holding cinnamon bun
Full focus on dad’s cinnamon bun

Runa got super excited when she saw the water! She probably thought we were going swimming, poor thing. She looked so disappointed when she realised that the water was not for her. 😅

I don’t know if you are allowed to go in the water – there were no obvious signs about it anyway – but I assume it’s a firm “no”. It’s always best to leave natural wonders alone. And who knows what the algae or whatever makes the green colour might do if you go in it?

I did put my hand in the water though. It was freezing cold.

Foot-bridge disappearing into the distance across a wet mire
Walkway to help traverse the mire

Tsuobbuoája is only about 30 minutes outside of the town Arvidsjaur. Here’s the location on Google Maps, or you can search for “Grodkällan på Slengmyren”.

It’s right in the area where I grew up, so I’ve been to Arvidsjaur many many times – but I had never been to this spring before. It’s weird since me and my family has spent so much time out in nature. And we’ve visited many other destinations around the whole region. I guess we just never got around to this particular place.

But now I can say I’ve been to the frog spring! Not only is the spring itself beautiful and interesting, but so is the landscape surrounding it. Even the mosquitoes were on their best behaviour. 😊


  1. 11 January 2021

    It’s a shame that you were not able to do the travelling that you had wanted too. Hopefully, in the future things will change and you can!

    There has to be an awareness of travelling to remote or natural environments. Things are different, and the landscape can be harsh. It’s just sad when peoples lives and wildlife are affected.

    Wow, the spring is magical. The colour of the water and the surrounding scenery if beautifully haunting! It doesn’t look like it is that deep and could be dangerous if you didn’t know. Poor Runa, missed out on a splash!

    I live in a small country town, and through the restrictions on international and sometimes out of state travel, many people have travelled here.

    Happy new year! I look forward to reading more of your posts and admiring your fantastic artwork in 2021!

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