This Photo of Tea Freezing Midair Is Unreal

By Clara Olshansky |

© Michael H. Davies

It's not magic, and it's not CGI. This surreal arc of ice you see was made with nothing but a thermos of hot tea and the -40˚C (also -40˚F) temperatures of Canada's High Arctic. Photographer Michael Davies, born in Ontario and living 20km south of the Arctic Circle, captured this moment of fantasy on the solstice, where he could count on the pink light that makes his picture pop even more. He positioned his friend Markus in front of the hills of a nearby mountain, where the pink and orange light met the ice, and asked Markus to hurl the tea into the air and let science do its thing. The result? Total beauty.

As Davies told Colossal, "Nothing of this shot was to chance, I followed the temperature, watched for calm wind, and planned the shot and set it up. Even the sun in the middle of the spray was something I was hoping for, even though it’s impossible to control." And his planning paid off. When Markus launched the tea into the -40˚ air, it froze instantly, creating an arc of ice, cloudy and crystalline, suspended for a moment in the air.

Davies has an eye for those surreal moments. His photography, which focuses primarily on the Arctic environment in which he lives, includes hypnotizing shots of the Aurora Borealis, sprays of sparks more bewitching than fourth of July fireworks, gorgeous full moons shining in the day time, and macro photographs of ice so intricate that they could be a work of abstract fractal art. To stay up to date on Davies' work, check out his site and follow him on Flickr

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