The cold snap hovering over the U.S. East Coast in recent weeks has caused major havoc for travelers and business alike — but that doesn't mean the frigid temperatures haven't left behind some stunning creations. With thermometer readings so low that Niagara Falls itself has frozen over, it was only a matter of time before Mother Nature blessed the seaboard's shivering residents with something really spectacular. During a daily surf check in Nantucket last Friday, surfer and photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh spotted some truly bizarre-looking "Slurpee waves" crashing onto the shoreline. Grabbing his camera, he was able to capture a series of incredible photos of a phenomenon that local fisherman called "a first".
"When I pulled up to the beach I could see the horizon just look strange," Nimerfroh told Bustle. "I got to the top of the dunes [and saw] that about 300 yards out from the shoreline, the ocean was starting to freeze." Because of the 19 degree temperatures, the frigid Atlantic waters had partially frozen over, leaving behind a slushy mixture that rolled easily onto the shore.
"They were perfect, dreamy slush waves," he said. "Most waves were around two feet with some larger sets ... around three feet high."
Nimerfroh managed to snap a series of incredible pictures before heading back to document the experience on his Instagram and Twitter accounts as well. Within days, the photos had gone viral.
Unfortunately, the strange "Slurpee waves" didn't last long. After returning the following day to see whether the slush had melted, Nimerfroh found that the water had instead frozen over completely. "I [drove] up to see if things had melted," he said, "but at the same 300 yards out, the water had frozen solid on the surface."
As the blast of wintry weather, which knocked out power in parts of Alabama and Virginia on Thursday, continues to make its way up the coast, Nantucket residents will most likely be privy to more strange, cold-weather happenings, such as the ghostly "car skeleton" ice impressions left behind in North Carolina on Friday last week, and the delicate frost floes that coated the waters around Manhattan on Thursday. Locals have taken to photographing the oddities in an attempt to stay positive about the bitter cold, which many have called absolutely "brutal".
Despite the chill, Nimerfroh told Bustle that the moment was a special one. "What an experience," he said, "to be absolutely freezing on the beach, watching these [waves] roll in while I mind-surfed them!"
Images: Jonathan Nimerfroh (jdnphotography/Instagram)