Behold These Sparkling Images of “Jewelry Ice” That Washes Ashore Every Winter in Japan

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Every winter something enchanting happens on the Island of Hokkaido in Northern Japan when temperatures fall well below freezing. The Tokachi River freezes over, and what was once crystal clear water breaks up into diamond-like fragments of ice that wash ashore in a spectacle locals refer to as “jewelry ice.”


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This phenomenon is especially bedazzling at sunrise when the jewelry ice appears blue, and at sunset when it takes on an orange cast. Throughout the day the color of the polished frozen gems can change depending upon the sky overhead.

Tourists and photographers tend to converge on the small town of Toyokoro in January and February when temperatures are the coldest and the jewelry ice season is at it’s peak.


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University of Cambridge ocean physicist Peter Wadhams explains that, unlike sea ice, the Tokachi River ice is completely transparent because of its total lack of salt.


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You can see more amazing images on the Toyokoro Instagram page that is devoted to the glistening event. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at @ShutterbugPix where we’re sharing our favorite photos from our followers.


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Via New York Times