While everyone in the United States was moaning and groaning last week about the insufferably cold temperatures, other parts of the world were intensely frigid too.
Take the small Norwegian island of Lovund, for instance, where thousands of fish were essentially flash-frozen in a bay as the air temperature dipped to -7.8 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit), according to a report from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK).
The website posted a photo taken by photographer Ingolf Kristiansen of a school of saithe, a type of codfish, frozen in place close to the shore.
Since only the top layer of lakes, ponds, and other large bodies of water typically freeze, fish and other sea creatures are usually able to survive winters by swimming beneath the icy surface. (Some polar fish even produce antifreeze molecules to reduce the freezing point of their bodily fluids).
These saithe weren’t so lucky. A fish expert at Norway’s Institute of Marine Research told NRK that the saithe may have been chased into shallow waters by large, fish-eating birds called cormorants, and then became trapped in a large clump by the low-tide. The fish weren’t able to escape as the water froze around them.