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Crazy Pics from the Coldest Places In The World That’ll Make You Want to Stay in Bed Forever

Polar vortex

As we all know, when people get holed up in one place for too long, they start to go a little stir-crazy. This especially happens in freezing cold temperatures when staying outside for very long just isn’t an option. So, when the temperatures start plummeting, odd things start to occur all over the place. Sometimes it just naturally happens in nature, while other times a little human intervention is necessary. Keep on reading to discover some of the craziest pictures from the coldest places in the world, including the 2019 polar vortex that froze a number of Midwestern US states in their tracks.

1. Frozen Pants Challenge

Even though it might be blisteringly cold outside, people still need to entertain themselves. A large number of Minnesota neighborhoods have taken to the frozen pants challenge to help pass the time, and hundreds of such examples can be found online with the hashtag #frozenpants. The challenge entails freezing pants in an upright position and prominently displaying the creation in your front yard.

polar vortex

According to local resident Tom Grotting, who was been deemed the creator of the trend, he got the idea from his childhood when his parents used to hang clothes outside to dry and would find it interesting to see them freeze in interesting shapes. Grotting says that the temperature needs to drop to at least zero degrees for the pants to properly freeze.

2. A Winter Wonderland

Here, onlookers can be seen flocking to Bryant Park in New York City to take a selfie with the frozen over water fountain on January 5, 2018. The fountain, dubbed the Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain, doesn’t freeze over very often, but when it does it is a sight to be seen.

Polar vortex

That winter, the East Coast was hit by devastatingly cold weather following a blizzard in the region that unleashed heavy snows and strong winds. The weather caused schools, major airports and commuter rail services to shut down completely, essentially shutting down the city due to the frigid blast.

3. Surfer Dan

While most people were snuggled up warm in their houses during the polar vortex of 2019, some people were outside still having a good time and going about their normal routines. This is one of those people. Daniel Schetter, known by locals simply as ‘surfer Dan,’ is something of a local legend for his winter-time water activities.

Polar vortex

Even though temperatures were around -30 Fahrenheit (including wind-chill), Dan could be found surfing around Lake Superior looking like a human Popsicle. The surfer started making waves online in 2017 after he uploaded a YouTube video of him surfing during a cold snap. A bit surprisingly, he made it through the winter surfing bonanza without any frostbite.

4. Frozen Eggs

We’ve all heard the saying that it’s so hot outside that you can fry an egg on the sidewalk, but what about the reverse? Well, “semi-professional scientist” Lauren Yapalater was determined to find out one wintry day in PyeongChang, Korea, which was home to the 2018 winter Olympics.

Polar vortex

The New York native stated that the weather was the coldest that she had ever experienced, feeling like it was much much colder than the 6 degrees Fahrenheit that her phone stated that it was. And lo and behold the egg certainly did freeze solid. Lauren jokingly stated that she hopes she receives an A on her little 5th grade science experiment.

5. Coldest In The World

The woman in this photograph is from Oymyakon, Russia, an area of Siberia which is not only the coldest inhabited region of the world, but also has the most extreme temperature differences on the planet. Winters can be as freezing as minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit and summers can get as hot as 100 degrees.

Polar vortex

So why do people live there? Well, the city was originally founded as a stopover for reindeer herders due to a thermal spring nearby. “Sure, we have to wrap up warm,” local resident Martina Vadreyev told the BBC. “In other parts of Russia you can throw on a coat to go outdoors, here it takes ages to dress. But we are used to it. This is our home.”

6. The Police Decoy

The Chisago County Police Department in Minnesota thought that it would have a bit of fun and create a frozen standing statue of a police uniform. Maybe everyone was just too cold to go outside themselves and decided to create a police scarecrow instead?

Polar vortex

The scarecrow might not have worked, but the cold weather may have actually helped with the crime rates across the Midwest. According to Chisago officials at least, homicide rates are at a nine-year low for the city and some of the credit can be given to the cold weather as data suggests that the decrease in crime has been linked to colder temperatures.

7. Running The Rails

No, this wasn’t an act of arson. This is a photo of Chicago’s Metra commuter rail running during the polar vortex of 2019 that saw temperatures hit rock bottom. How do they keep the trains running during such temperatures? Well, they actually set the train tracks on fire.

Polar vortex


According to Chicago’s Metra spokesperson, the practice is completely safe and is frequently used to keep the trains going in subzero temperatures across North American rail systems. And as it turns out, the fires come from gas-fed heaters that run alongside the rails… sadly no one is actually dousing the tracks in gas and throwing matches.

8. Lake Shore Drive

Everyone who lives in an area with severe winters knows all about shoveling snow, but what you don’t expect is to have to shovel your car off the road in the middle of heavy traffic. This was the case for a number of commuters on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive after a major blizzard hit the area in the winter of 2011.

Polar vortex

The sudden blizzard quite literally buried people in their cars. People who live in such areas with harsh winters annually prepare for winter in a number of ways but no one was prepared for this storm, which was later nicknamed “Snowpocalypse” due to the city coming to a screeching halt.

9. Snow Plow Armada

This rare picture was snapped during the deep freeze of the polar vortex that occurred in 2019. An armada of nine snow plows, along with a police escort trailing them, attempted to clear a main highway in Dane County, near Madison, Wisconsin.

Polar vortex

Due to the dire winter weather, authorities warned everyone to stay off the roads as they were covered in icy and packed snow, creating treacherous driving conditions. The polar vortex created havoc for the region, closing all schools and many major businesses. Clearing crews worked around the clock to attempt to make the streets passable again for drivers.

10. Ice Sculptures

This oddly satisfying image was taken after one woman attempted to open her car door in Chicago during the polar vortex of 2019. Honestly, we are surprised that she was able to get the car door open at all. If there was a competition for this sort of thing this woman certainly would have ranked very well.

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During the polar vortex, rain and freezing temperatures covered just about every square inch of the city of Chicago in ice. One person deemed that this phenomenon should be dubbed, “Canadian paint protection.” Not sure if that is true… but sounds reasonable to us.

11. A Frozen Chicago

In what looks like the scene out of an apocalyptic Hollywood movie, Lake Michigan is seen completely frozen over. The photo was taken from one of the very few airplanes that managed to get into the city during the cold snap. The majority of flights traveling through Chicago O’Hare International Airport were cancelled or severely delayed due to the storm.

Polar vortex

Locals reported that downtown Chicago, which is generally a bustling hotspot, looked like a deserted ghost-town during the storm. The city saw record-breaking low temperatures, which meteorologists are calling the second-coldest day in the city’s history, having had one day colder in 1985.

12. Arctic Fire Fighters

Just because there are sub-Arctic temperatures outside doesn’t mean that everyone gets a free day off work to try and stay warm under the covers. Here is a picture of a hard working fire fighter who is tasked with not only battling fires, but also the extremely cold weather.

Polar vortex

As you can see, this fire fighter is covered from head to toe in frosty ice. Unfortunately, house fires increase during cold weather months, especially so during severe cold snaps, such as the polar vortex. This is even more dangerous as many fire hydrants, which are meant to be used to fight fires, can freeze closed in such conditions.

13. Glacier Bay

If you ever had any question as to just how cold it can actually get, just take a gander at this picture. The water in the basin of this toilet froze and expanded to the point of bursting the ceramic basin, leaving behind a very gross looking toilet Popsicle.

Polar vortex


Man, that’s going to be one big mess to clean up once the ice thaws. Hopefully, this house has another functional bathroom that isn’t frozen over like the Arctic Circle. This picture surfaced on Twitter at the end of January, 2019 with the hashtag #PolarVortex2019. Many people commented on the picture saying that the name brand, Glacier Bay, was certainly living up to its name.

14. The Icy Shoreline

Here a few words to the wise — don’t park your car on the shoreline during blizzard-like conditions. This picture is surprisingly not from Chicago during the polar vortex, but it is actually from Geneva, Switzerland. Winds blew strong enough the spray water all across the street lining the shoreline and… well, it’s clear to say that it froze.

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According to Agence France Press, the photograph was taken after a bad winter storm on January, 26 2005. It probably took a lot of time going for the car to thaw. Next time you go to scrap ice off your windshield, just remember that it could always be worse, one of these could be your cars.

15. Manistee Lighthouse

Despite the sub-Arctic temperatures, risk of frostbite and general danger of even going outside, many people took to the outdoors during the polar vortex to take some stunning photos of the wintry wonderland. This is a picture of the Manistee North Pierhead lighthouse and pier in late January 2019 in Michigan.

Polar vortex

Detroit Free Press

As seen in the picture, the lighthouse and pier completely froze over during the storm, but that didn’t stop a few brave souls from venturing out to take a closer look at the beauty created by the rare and epic cold snap. The lighthouse is located on Michigan’s western coast overlooking Lake Michigan.

16. The Coldest Waves Ever

According to Surfer Dan, pictured here, some of the best waves to be found on Lake Superior come during the coldest months of the year. And the cold doesn’t stop Dan from taking out to the frigid waters. “Most of the time, the best waves come when it’s really cold and it can mean you wait for months,” the photographer, Devon Hains told local reporters.

Polar vortex


“Every time [Schetter] sees waves, he gets all hyped up.” Photos of Surfer Dan quickly went viral, having been shared over 40,000 times on Facebook. The photographer and surfer duo met during a pipeline protest and even though Surfer Dan himself faces the blistering cold, he cautions others against copying his actions without properly knowing what they are doing and how to do it safely.

17. Pet Safety

This brave pooch is all bundled up for the winter cold and rearing for a fun romp in the snow. While pets do need to take their outdoor leave every once in a while, experts caution that for your pet’s safety it’s essential to restrict outdoor time due to the freezing temperatures.

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It’s vital to your pet’s health that they stay bundled up and warm while they are outside and that they are properly dried off when coming back indoors, to avoid the chances of catching hypothermia. Experts also warn that making sure that your pet is properly hydrated is equally important to avoid them getting sick in the cold weather.

18. Princess Elsa To The Rescue

When this police van got stuck in the snow during a Boston blizzard, who better to help get it out than Disney’s Princess Elsa? A drag queen Princess Elsa just happened to be passing by when she noticed that the van was in need of assistance. A clip of the incident ended up going viral when it hit the net.

Polar vortex


“I bought this costume last year during a snow storm because I thought it would be hilarious to walk around Boston in an ‘Elsa’ costume during a snow storm,” Elsa (identity withheld) told FOX. “It turns out I was correct, it is really funny to walk around Boston in an ‘Elsa’ costume during a snow storm.”

19. A Michigan Mohawk

As we told you earlier, all the cold weather and cabin fever can lead to people doing some strange things. This man, shirtless of course, decided to go outside in the bitter cold just to throw some boiling water in the air to see how fast it would freeze. How fast did it freeze?

Polar vortex

Well, in below zero temperatures water freezes just as fast as you can throw it in the air. Hence the man was in no danger of boiling water coming crashing back in his face. Lucky for him. But that still doesn’t explain why he is shirtless. Someone tell him to get back inside, pronto!

20. Al Dente Noodles

One Chicago resident during the polar vortex in 2019 decided to try his own science experiment and find out just how fast his noodles would freeze in the sub-Arctic temperatures. According to the man, they froze solid within a minute of being outdoors.

Polar vortex

The same experiment was apparently also conducted at the Concordia Station in Antarctica with similar results which isn’t surprising considering that temperatures were nearly the same. The photo was first posted to Twitter with the caption- “How cold is it in Chicago at the moment…?” Be careful what you wish for next time you ask for the al dente pasta.

21. The Improvised Heater

So what do you do when temperatures outside are minus 40 in Minnesota and your landlord decides to turn down your heat? Well, apparently you’ve got to improvise. This creative tenant made their own heater by turning on the stove to full blast and placing a fan nearby. Ingenious!

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Many commenters were outraged to hear that this tenant’s landlord had the heat turned down in such conditions, but as it turns out it’s a common practice in the Northern states for the utility companies to request to ration heaters at certain temperatures in effort to not overload the system, as well as to conserve gas until more arrives.

22. North Avenue Beach

No, this isn’t a scene from the Roland Emmerich film “The Day After Tomorrow,” this is a view of downtown Chicago as seen from a frozen Lake Michigan during the 2019 polar vortex. Captured here is Chicago’s North Avenue Beach, which during the summer months is one of the city’s busiest spots.

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Unsurprisingly, no sunbathers can be seen during the polar vortex. During the storm the city of Chicago was rebranded #Chiberia, a blending of the words Chicago and Siberia, just to illustrate to people how cold it actually was during the cold snap. The storm brought “dangerous cold” to the entire Midwest.

23. Niagara Falls

It’s a rare sight to see Niagara Falls frozen, but parts of the waterfalls actually do freeze over almost every winter. Here are the falls as seen during the polar vortex of 2019 and as you can see, they are only partially frozen over.

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The only recorded complete freeze-up of the river and waterfalls was recorded all the way back in March 29, 1848. During the winter of 1912, most of the water coming over the American Falls froze over, although trickles of water were still running. The other two sites were also still running during the winter of 1912.

24. Furry Friends

Many people tend to forget about our four-legged friends when the temperatures drop, but they get just as cold as we do and need to be taken indoors during such weather! This English Bulldog is dressed to the nines in his winter gear, just gearing up to take a quick walk outside in the snow.

Polar vortex


Complete with protective shoes and a winter vest, this pup is ready for a bathroom break and a stretch of the legs in the wintry chill. This picture was snapped during the 2019 polar vortex that swept across Midwestern states, freezing everything in its path.

25. Bearing The Brunt

This determined man couldn’t be stopped by the severe winter weather. Even as snow and ice collected in his beard and covered his clothes, he trudged on through the storm. This kind of makes us wonder where he was headed to in such conditions, and why?

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Hopefully, this man got to where he was going, and fast! Otherwise, he might have faced severe frostbite conditions or at the very least some severe winter blues. A new study shows that around 57 percent of Americans claim they’ve experienced the winter blues multiple times. Hopefully, as temperatures start to thaw, so will American spirits.

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Copyright © 2019 Novelty Magazines Ltd. All rights reserved

Copyright © 2019 Novelty Magazines Ltd. All rights reserved