If you live in the northern hemisphere, it's likely you've been feeling the chill over the past few days. And when you're shivering and suffering, it can be hard to see any upside to what seems like an interminable winter. In fact, it's all too easy to wish the whole season away, dreaming on sunshine and sitting in parks once more.
But winter does have some benefits - as we've seen recently. Because the recent cold spell has caused something quite beautiful to occur. The Niagara Falls, in Ontario, Canada, have totally frozen over. In one of nature's rarer events, the cascades of water has been turned into what looks like Gothic ice sculptures. It's really a sight to behold.
Clearly, the internet agrees. For the past few days, people have been sharing their snaps of the natural phenomenon on social media. Want to take a look at the incredible views? Read on.
Niagara Falls is one of nature's most famous landmarks.
via: ShutterstockThe name actually refers to three waterfalls - the Horseshoe Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and the American Falls, which may explain their large size.
The Falls are located on the US-Canadian border.
via: ShutterstockOne side of Niagara Falls is in New York State, while the other is in Ontario, Canada (near to Toronto).
The Falls are a hugely popular tourist attraction.
via: ShutterstockVisitors can even take a trip under the falls, in the famous Maid of the Mist boat. The Falls is one of those views which has to be seen to be seen to be believed.
Niagara Falls are a huge part of Canada's identity.
via: ShutterstockAlongside hockey, maple syrup, and being stereoptypically polite, the natural wonder is one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of Canada.
Niagara Falls also have a place in popular culture.Here they feature in Jim Carrey's deistic comedy Bruce Almighty. Carrey stars as a down-on-his-luck small time news reporter, forced to wear a silly hat for a supremely trivial news piece.
And who could forget The Office?Niagara Falls hosted longtime sweethearts Jim and Pam's secret wedding - before they went off to their actual wedding, which they had guessed their office-mates might have made a little bit weird.
Niagara Falls have a firm place in the collective consciousness.There's just something magnificent about the amazing views - particularly when you consider that there has been no human intervention in their beauty.
But have you considered what happens to them as temperatures drop?Canada and New York State have a reputation for some of the world's most brutal winters - so it seems natural than Niagara Falls would be privy to some particularly harsh weather during the colder months.
Yet we tend to think of them as a summery location.The majority of times we think of Niagara Falls, we picture something more like this. Clear, blue skies, sun shining, and the waterfalls... well, falling.
So what happens when things get chilly?Well, these past few days have answered our question. This week, temperatures around the world have dropped to the lowest we've seen this winter.
The Niagara Falls Twitter account has been overtaken with weather warnings.
Environment Canada Weather Notice: Issued: 10:43 PM EST Tuesday 22 January 2019 https://t.co/IdyYsQBCQB— Niagara Falls Canada (@Niagara Falls Canada)1548215176.0
You may be picturing the Niagara Falls winter edition as something like this.Pretty cold-looking, for sure. But still very much a waterfall. Well, you'd actually be quite mistaken.
Some of the first impressions we had of the terrain were from this Instagram video.
The same account shared more pics.
Then the pics starting coming in thick and fast.
People were keen to get a snap of the rare sight.
Like this fun selfie.
Everyone wanted a piece of the action.
Even official Instagram pages got in on the fun.
The images from the viewing platform were incredible.
The 2013 hit, Frozen.People have drawn comparisons between the fantastical landscape of the animated movie, and the very real terrain of Niagara Falls.
The film features truly stunning icy landscapes.Although these ones aren't real, they're almost as breathtaking as the shots of Niagara Falls this past week.
We can certainly see the resemblance.
It's hard to believe shots like this are real.
We're a particular fan of the social media vids.
Although we bet nothing compares to seeing them in real life.
There's tons more eye-candy to see online.We could look at these mesmerising pictures and videos all day. Great job, earth!
Although it's clear these temperatures are no joke.
Keep warm at #NiagaraFalls City Hall, Gale Centre, MacBain Centre and all library branches during regular hours. Th… https://t.co/n4TtxvbDAp— Niagara Falls Canada (@Niagara Falls Canada)1548106206.0