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Ghost Apples Haunt A Michigan Farm And They Are Beautiful

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What a wet, cold, and wild winter we've had so far in 2019. Spring is just over a month away, but I think we all know we're going to be dealing with winter temperatures longer than that.

The winter has been dangerously cold, but also staggeringly beautiful. Like when the polar vortex swooped down from the arctic, bringing with it frigid air that froze Lake Michigan. The lake and its surroundings were covered in a magical barrier of ice that made for great photographs.

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Cold weather also brings about fascinating phenomenon. Lake Michigan looked like it was boiling, as steam wafted off of the large body of water, hundreds of Americans in the frigid Midwest - where temperatures reached -40°F - discovered that boiling water immediately evaporates when suddenly exposed to cold air, and people everywhere were making their pants stand up on end in the Frozen Pant Challenge.

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One Michigan farmer recently discovered another rare occurrence brought on by the unusually cold temperatures: ghost apples.

Andrew Sietsema went to prune the trees on his farm when he made the discovery. As a former horticultural student he knew how special his find was and immediately took pictures.

Ghost apples happen when rain or moisture on the exterior of an apple freezes, creating an outline. The temperature then warms enough to allow the apple to rot and disintegrate, but not warm enough to melt the ice.

Due to its sugar content and acidity, an apple has a lower freezing temperature than water.

The mushy apple then falls through the ice, leaving a perfect outline of an apple with nothing inside.

So complete is the freezing that you can even see the stem of the apple.

Sietsema shared the photos on Facebook where they quickly made a splash. Receiving over 13,000 shares, people from as far as Japan commented on the post.

It's truly a beautiful, and strange, phenomenon. While we wait for a spring thaw at least we can enjoy the good parts of winter.

I've been writing for Shared for 6 years. Along with my cat Lydia, I search for interesting things to share with you! You can reach me at Tristan@shared.com.