Google Maps is a useful tool for discovering weird and wonderful sights around the world that viewers may never usually have the chance to witness. In Russia, by a remote lake, one eagle-eyed user spotted a breathtaking scene unfolding. What do you think is going on here?
Google Maps: Some wildlife photographers got up close to brown bears in Russia
Google Maps: The men on the floor appear to be holding cameras and shooting images of the bears as they hunt
The lake sits in the foreground, surrounded by mountains and greenery, overset by low hanging clouds.
To the left of the beach appears to be a camp set up, with chairs and long-lens photography cameras.
One of these cameras is covered in a camouflaged protective layer, suggesting the camera’s owner may be hoping to stay out of sight – but from who?
The answer can be found when the viewer changes direction.
To the right of the scene is a river, trickling out from the foliage and trees into the lake.
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On land, six men appear to be face-to-face with three large bears.
The bears are padding their way through the river, potentially hunting for fish.
Their attention does not seem to be wavered by the presence of their onlookers.
While five of the men lay down in the sand, appearing to hold cameras, one is stood upright which what appears to be a weapon in hand.
Perhaps this is to protect them in case their subject’s attention turns to them.
Google Maps: Lake Kurile is renowned for being a hotspot for brown bears
It’s a moment very few people would usually have the chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at.
Some onlookers may be amazed to see just how close the photographers can get to the animals without danger.
Of course, the man armed with a weapon is on hand, just in case things take a negative turn.
It seems this scenario is not uncommon in the Kamchatka Peninsula.
The region, and Kurile Lake, in particular, has been referred to as “The Kingdom of Brown Bears” and a sighting of one of the creatures is not uncommon.
Home to thousands of sockeye salmon, one of the largest herds of the fish in Eurasia, the lakes are the perfect habitat for brown bears looking for a meal.
According to 56thparallel.com, the area is one of the best places in the world to spot and photograph Kamchatka brown bears in their natural habitat.
The website states: “Unlike other typical conditions where brown bears avoid each other, this phenomenon, in fact, brings them together as they sometimes work in groups to catch their fresh meals, all the while completely ignoring all other surroundings including you… if you so happen to be there.
“Given this, you are able to sometimes get anywhere within just a couple meters of up to twenty bears to photograph them while they go about their entertaining salmon hunting techniques.”