People are freezing bubbles and it is surprisingly beautiful
When you're hit with a blizzard, or a 'bomb cyclone,' or an attack from Elsa, it's easy to get depressed. If the roads are too icy, or totally blanketed with snow, you can't go anywhere. And even if you can drive, you have to scrape the ice off your car windows, and let the engine warm up for ages. Just walking outside feels miserable. Nobody wants to build snowmen, or go sledding or make snow angels in record-breaking sub-zero temperature. Unless you're an Ice Zombie on Game of Thrones, extreme winter is nothing to get excited about.
However, sometimes you can find beauty in the madness. Since New Year's Eve, America's been hit with an unprecedented cold front. There's been some expected, but depressing consequences, like massive pile-ups on icy roads, and a dumb Donald Trump tweet saying cold weather proves global warming is a sham. But there's also been some stunning effects, like glistening "ice balls" honeycombed on the shore of Lake Michigan, and the frozen splendor of Niagara Falls coated in ice.
Perhaps the most beautiful sight, though, is people blowing bubbles out in the cold, and watching them freeze. Snowflakes swirl around inside, creating a wobbly, ephemeral snow globe; then the flakes slowly expand, filling the crystal sphere with sun-dappled frosty whiteness. The visual is surprisingly hypnotic. On Twitter, everyone's posting their attempts at this fractal ice magic, with the trending hashtag #BubbleMadness.
And after you're done making the bubble, you can blow it away. Pretty cool, right? If you ever wanted to feel like a certain Snow Queen from Frozen, this is the perfect opportunity. So feel free to bust out your blue dress, sing "The cold never bothered me anyway!" and make friends with an annoying magical snowman.
Want to make bubbles that don't immediately swell up and burst? One Twitter user offered some advice: If you combine the water and dish soap with salt and vinegar, the bubble stays intact, giving you more time to be mesmerized by the lovely frost patterns. (And, you know, not think about how cold you are standing out in this nightmare arctic tundra, when you could be at home, drinking hot chocolate, and watching BoJack Horseman on Netflix.)
We're only a couple days into January, and have seen some pretty insane weather. The year 2018 is not off to a great start. But it's nice to see people are finding a silver lining with #BubbleMadness. I grew up in northern Minnesota, and always hated the winter (which is why I currently live in Los Angeles). But you know what? Now I'm starting to see the appeal. I think I'll move back to Minnesota and make some - nope, already changed my mind. I'm going to stay in California where it's warm and watch you guys make ice bubbles on Twitter. Have fun!