20 Ice Formations That Prove Winter Is the Most Dazzling Season
In the winter, you might prefer to stay inside with a warm blanket and a hot drink rather than stare at the miraculous changes that happen when icy winds start to blow. But if you spend all your time indoors, you might miss all the beauty that winter can bring.
Of course, ice and snow are not to be trifled with in the winter time. Massive snow banks on the side of the road, black ice, and avalanches can be deadly to travelers during the winter. However, Mother Nature has a way of making the inclement weather just a bit more bearable by creating ice formations for our eyes to feast upon. Depending on where you live, seeing these natural phenomena can be as easy as walking out your front door. Of course, for those of us who don’t live in colder climates (or are in the Southern Hemisphere), we can’t exactly go outside to see icicles forming on our own homes, photographers have captured some of nature's artwork in all its glory.
From the tiniest, most intricate icicles covering our windows to massive stalactites and stalagmites forming inside Siberian caves, frozen water has a way of becoming truly mesmerizing.
You can take a freezing cold trip from the warmth of your couch (or office chair) by gazing at some of these wondrous formations. Glaciers in Iceland and Alaska, as well as the frozen waterfalls in Sweden look practically otherworldly as the massive amounts of water meeting the freezing air create staggering formations. However, even simple icicles and frost coming off leaves and branches can take on beautiful and peculiar effects.
Torres del Paine National Park
These ice spikes, or “penitentes,” usually form at high altitudes. These are in Lago Grey, in Chilean Patagonia.
Peak District National Park, U.K.
Hoar frost is a crystalline frost formed from water vapor, and it practically looks like this Sycamore seed grew spikes.
These icicles formed across a frozen waterfall in Slovenia.
Lake Baikal, in Siberia, holds the world's largest volume of fresh water — approximately 20% of the earth's supply.
Minnehaha literally means “falling water” in the Dakota language. However, in winter, the falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota, look frozen in time.
Vatnajökull National Park
In the winter, Iceland's Jokulsarlon Lagoon is home to hundreds of seals that go there to hunt for fish.
As anyone who's been in Chicago in winter knows, the shore of Lake Michigan can be devastatingly cold, but also home to some incredibly interesting formations like these.
Ice in Siberia forms all around the cave, including the ceiling and floor, where you’ll see interesting stalagmites such as these.
These formations in Russia almost look like they’re lighting up in an icy-blue hue against the sunset.
Apostle Island Ice Caves
You probably wouldn’t want to stand under these stalactite ice formations, in a cave in Wisconsin.
This frozen wall looks like it could have come out of “Game of Thrones.”
The frozen bubbles on this lake in Alberta, Canada, are actually formed by methane formed from dead organic matter, i.e. plants and animals, at the bottom of the lake.
An intricate cobweb gets all the more fascinated when covered in frost.
Frost flowers aren’t literally flowers. They’re thin layers of ice formed when the ice is forced outward into a “petal-like” formation. They can usually be found on plants. Here, they're on thin ice in the Canadian Rockies.
This lighthouse in St. Joseph, Michigan, is famous for its yearly winter transformation due to large amounts of ice forming all around its exterior.
The icicles on this branch have formed perfect, heavy-looking droplets.
Even massive ice formations can look like fluffy clouds from a distance.
Wind and ice are both to thank for this interesting ice formation, on a bus stop sign in Bavaria, Germany.
These massive icicles look like a waterfall that’s been frozen after a storm.
After an ice storm or freezing rain, grass can be totally enveloped by ice, as if it’s covered in glass.