Polar Vortex: Chicagoan Turns Boiling Water into Cloud

While most of the US tries to stay warm through the Polar Vortex, one man in Chicago (or “Chiberia”) decided to have a little “scientific” fun. Two days ago, as temperatures dropped to a staggering -14F, Scott Harrison stepped into the cold and shot this cityscape view of downtown Chicago while throwing a bucket of boiling water into the air. “It was the kind of cold that makes the back of your throat freeze when you first breathe in,” he states.

Luckily he didn't have to stay out too long, he just had to step onto his balcony in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, about 3 miles northwest of downtown.

“A friend of mine had mentioned that boiling water turns into a cloud if the air temperature is cold enough,” he tell us, “so I decided to try it for myself. After I saw the effects, I decided it would be interesting to capture a still image of the instant the water changes.”

According to scientist and author Dr. Ainissa Ramirez, hot water freezes, or changes from a liquid to a solid, as soon it comes into contact with the cold air. While the water may appear like a mist, it's actually changed into many tiny ice crystals.

Check out more stellar photos of Chicago in a deep freeze on our friend's site, Colossal.

Scott Harrison on Flickr

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