Featured Image Credit: Jonathan Nimerfroh
By Kira Krall
Just about everyone from Seattle to Miami is experiencing a colder-than-normal winter this season. Nine cities in the U.S. experienced their coldest December 23-January 5 yet. While the country is dealing with the frozen consequences on land, the bitter cold snap also had a unique effect on the sea. On January 2nd in Nantucket, Massachusetts, Jonathan Nimerfroh, a surfer, captured a sea halfway between liquid and solid.
This phenomenon is a prime example of nature’s competing forces. The 12-degree ocean wanted to freeze its water molecules, while the churning of the waves kept it from becoming a definite solid. The result is a surface layer containing both seawater and pieces of ice likely not much bigger than a corn kernel. What we’re seeing in these photos is the waves moving underneath and breaking through that top layer of saltwater slushy.
Nimerfroh snapped pictures while his friends surfed the waves and played with the larger chunks of ice that managed to form. After about three hours after the group arrived, the cold lost its grip on Nantucket’s shores and the sea melted back into pure liquid.
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