Here's what winter can do to lighthouses and waterfalls
Tehran (KNA) - When the powerful waters of Niagara Falls appeared to freeze over a few weeks ago in January, it both dazzled and mystified the Internet. This beautiful wintry phenomenon attracts major attention even though it seems to happen every other year.
Each time, science-minded reporters and officials love to point out that Niagara Falls can't ever freeze completely.
In fact, it has in the past.
While most of us sprint inside once outside temperatures dip below freezing, the photographers of the world and lovers of winter are outside taking advantage.
Winter is Mother Nature's time to shine: Lighthouses, bridges, fountains and cliffs can turn into frosted marvels.
As research scientist Walt Meier explains, when freezing temperatures hit water, ice crystals form, even in a fast-moving river. Those small crystals start to stick together forming a slush and slowing the flow. Thus is the genesis of a frozen Niagara Falls.
Meier, who works for the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado, tracks the mounting massive losses of ice across the planet. We've lost nearly 50% of our ice cover in summer across our oceans and about half the thickness of ice in the Arctic.
But left to its own devices, winter, Meier points out, is capable of producing some spectacular (if temporary) art.
"It's pretty magical to be out in the woods on a nice brisk winter and sunny day and the snow dampens the sound," says Meier. "That's one of the things that always strikes me."