The Polar Vortex Is Insane, and These Pictures Prove It | 22 Words

Remember when Game of Thrones was all like, "Winter is coming"? Yeah, well, winter is officially here. Due to a little thing called climate change, extreme weather conditions of all types are becoming more and more common. This January, the Midwest began experiencing a "polar vortex," which is pretty much as sinister as it sounds. A polar vortex is a swirling mass of strong winds that bring extremely cold temperatures. This is literally arctic air that is traveling south to the United States and bearing down on populated places like Chicago and the entire state of Michigan.

I mean, we are talking record-breaking low temperatures (can you say negative 50 degrees? probably not because your teeth are too bust chattering) that feel even colder thanks to a gnarly wind chill factor. People were not designed to exist in temperatures as cold as these. Some are braving the intense cold to snap pictures that prove just how cold it is.

Jon Snow?!

More like Jon Ice and Wind and Insane, Below Freezing Temperatures!!

Exploding tank

Yeah, I don't think that's supposed to happen to your toilet. What do you even do when this happens? That whole toilet's busted.

Frozen spaghetti

from pics
I don't know who thought it would be a good idea to eat lunch outside in below freezing temperatures. Do you realize how cold it had to be for the noodles to freeze in that position?

Frosted lashes

The newest, hottest (coldest?) Instagram beauty trend is frosted lashes. All you have to do to get them is go outside during a polar vortex.

Frozen firefighter

from pics
He's a firefighter. A firefighter! That is one of the warmest jobs you can possibly have! This is not OK!

The Day After Tomorrow

This seriously looks like some apocalyptic scene, and you know what? It is. We are in the middle of the apocalypse, and no one in charge wants to do anything about it!


Bubbles are freezing mid-air. I'm not going to lie; these are really cool-looking, but it's still not supposed to happen.

Train track fires

Did you hear that? Railroad workers are purposely setting fire to the tracks to keep them warm enough for service to continue. This seems, hm, what's the word? Unsafe!


The anti-freeze is frozen. I repeat: The anti-freeze is frozen. Isn't this like, the definition of hell freezing over?

Frozen pants

Yup, that is a pair of jeans standing up on their own. Don't worry, it's not a completely haunting image that will come to me in my nightmares or anything.

Icy TP

I have to admit that I thought about what it would be like to use this toilet paper, and I giggled a little. I'm sure this admission won't come back to haunt me.

Frozen flush

It would probably be pretty satisfying to pee all over this because your pee would be warm and melt the ice...OK bye.

Speed limit

At least the ice sign is falling down, which has to mean the ice is melting, right? Right?

Frozen eggs

What can you even do with these? I don't think you can cook them and eat them. This is something I never thought I'd see a picture of.

The ice is inside

OK, when the insides of your buildings are starting to look like this, you know that human life was not meant to handle this level of cold.

Cold beard

from pics
The first shocking thing about this photo is Jesse's ice beard, but then you see the burning car...

From the inside

Pretty sure this really is not supposed to happen. What do you do? Call your landlord and be like, "Um, the house? It's turned into ice now"?

Drying clothes

Those are some starchy clothes. Actually, I'm just getting word that they are frozen. Not starch. Ice.


I don't think I've ever seen a bottle of frozen vodka. I've been in a bar made completely of ice, and the vodka wasn't even frozen there.

Icy you

Get it? Icy you? Like, "I see you," except that you don't because your glasses are icy.

Lake Michigan

Do you know how big Lake Michigan is? It's really big! It needs to be really cold for that water to freeze.


Well, this defeats the purpose of fire hydrants. It looks like it's throwing up because it's too cold out.


This doesn't look like a peephole so much as it looks like a tunnel through the snow.

Warm car

from pics
At least during the polar vortex, you can always tell if your car is leaking from its tailpipe. That's the silver lining, I guess.

Hub cap

How does this even happen? Was it raining sideways onto the tire and then freezing instantly? What's going on here?!

Cold soap

I guess soap freezes. It makes sense. It spends its life getting covered in water. But I just never even thought of it being a possibility.

Drip, drip

Does this person not have any heat in their house? Turn on the heat for goodness' sake!

Paint peel

Cars were not made to handle this extreme cold. Nothing was. We are all at the mercy of the weather.

Water firework

from pics
Of course, you probably saw that people started taking buckets of hot water outside, throwing them in the air, and watching them freeze instantly. This is that. No word on why the guy is shirtless. Seems unnecessary.

Heat it up

It should be illegal for a landlord to turn down the heat in the middle of a polar vortex. It could seriously be dangerous! Share this with someone to show them how cold it really is out there.