Cold Hard Facts about Winter

Winter is a polarizing season, pun intended — some love it, some hate it, but everyone can enjoy learning some fun facts about this cold but festive season.

The lowest temperature on record occurred in Antarctica on July 21st, 1983, when temperatures dropped to -128 degrees Fahrenheit.

Because of the way the earth rotates on its axis, when it’s winter in the northern hemisphere, it’s summer in the southern hemisphere — so places like Australia have a hot, humid holiday season.

Bears hibernate during the winter, but this isn’t just a long nap: their heartbeat slows down to 8 beats per minute, and they can survive at least 100 days without eating.

As two scientists discovered in 1988, some two snowflakes actually are alike — they found proof with two identical snowflakes.

A structure made of snow doesn’t seem like it could be very warm, but igloos work by insulating body heat in compact snow; temperatures inside can be as much as 100 degrees warmer than outside.

The world’s biggest snowball fight took place in Seattle in 2013, when 5,834 people joined together to set the record in an epic snowball-flinging battle.

The record for the most snow angels made at once was set in North Dakota in 2007, with a total of 8,962 participants.

Animals like ermine, artic foxes, artic hares, and certain caribou change color during the winter, when their fur becomes white.

Reindeer who live in the Arctic Circle, where the sun doesn’t rise for several weeks in the winter, change their eye color: while it’s normally light gold, the retina changes to blue, which allows them to see in the dark using ultra-violet rays.

We usually measure snowfall in inches, but how many snowflakes does it take to cover a town? Hard to say, but in the United States alone, at least one septillion — that’s 1 followed by 24 zeros! — snowflakes fall each year.

The Chinese plum blossom blooms only at the end of winter, which makes it a cheerful sign of spring to come in China.


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