John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
The massive, frozen cone is the product of this winter's bitter temperatures.
Winter Break adventure turned into an amazing education for my kids on how fast a photo can travel! pic.twitter.com/8eFSFCGBTF— JoBeth Rath (@JoBethRath) February 19, 2015
Years down the road, New York natives are going to remember how their parents dragged them into a bitterly cold forest to see this: a towering ice prong spitting blasts of water 50 feet in the air.
The "ice volcano" or "frozen geyser," as it's been incorrectly dubbed, splurts in chilly majesty in Letchworth State Park, located about an hour's drive east of Buffalo. The park is marketed as the "Grand Canyon of the East" for its impressive vistas, but during the winter it sometimes grows this second attraction. And thanks to bone-chilling temperatures, 2015's glacial stalagmite is truly immense.
Crowds are flocking to pay tribute to the bizarre structure, reports TWC News:
"I was here yesterday and it was just like this. It's the middle of the week. This isn't the weekend and it isn't a particularly nice day. Yet dozens and dozens of people are coming here," said North Java resident Dave Schwab.
"It kind of looks like art," said Jennifer Krueger, Buffalo resident....
"It's still spraying out of the top of the cone. It's at least 50 feet high. It's quite spectacular this time of year," said Assistant Park Manager Douglas Kelly.
Some media outlets have identified the source as a geyser. Much like last year's bulletin that Niagara Falls had frozen over, this story is incorrect. The "volcano" is building itself upward with water from a pond fountain, most likely this one next to a hotel:
Still, it's a mighty wonder to behold—certainly it kicks the crud out of that recent cryovolcano on Lake Ontario.