10 Interesting Fun Facts About Snow

Let’s be honest: winter sucks. Sure, it’s fun for about 30 minutes while you make a snowman and throw snowballs at your siblings, but once that crisp, white snow starts melting, it’s all grey-yellow slush and playtime is over. Here are ten things you probably didn’t know about snow.

 

1. You can’t “trigger” avalanches.

Yes, we’ve all seen the movies where the guy sneezes a bit too loud and BOOM, the avalanche kills half the group. Fortunately, an incident like this is completely fictional. They just happen, nothing particularly triggers them.

 

2. Snow echoes.

Now that you know yelling can’t trigger an avalanche, why not try it for yourself? Due to the flat snow that’s packed in, sound waves bounce at a high frequency. That means instead of absorbing sound, like most would expect, it actually reflects it, resulting in echoes that can be heard up to a mile away.

 

3. The heaviest snowfall in 24 hours occurred in 1921.

A whopping 75.8 inches of snow fell from the sky and covered – more like buried – Silver Lake, Colorado in snow in April of 1921.

4. Snow is not actually white.

What you see is not always what you get. Snow isn’t actually white, it’s translucent. It’s the light that shines on the snow that gives it its color – or the color we perceive anyway.

 

5. Snowflakes really aren’t that pretty.

Kids who were born before the 2000s, will always remember cutting out beautiful snowflake shapes in “art” class and hang it up or use it as window decoration in winter. Kids who were born after the 2000s will always remember snowflakes like what they look like in Frozen. Well, as disappointing as this may sound, snowflakes really aren’t that special. They’re basically just a mash of crystals stuck together.

 

6. Each snowflake holds a story.

They may not be as pretty as we initially thought, but they sure are interesting. Each snowflake holds particles that could pretty much be from anywhere in the world.

7. The biggest snowflake ever fell down from the sky in 1887…

…And no snowflake has been bigger since. This 15-inch monster fell in Fort Keogh, Montana.

 

8. Alaska has the whitest Christmas in the US.

Alaska gets an average of 326 inches of snow each year. No wonder it’s Santa’s favorite state.

 

9. Watermelon snow is toxic.

Patches of pink snow that smell like watermelon are bad, bad, bad. It has pigmented algae growing underneath and needless to say, you shouldn’t be putting toxic algae in your mouth.

10. Snow makes people crazy.

No, really. People who are surrounded by snow for an extended period of time can develop something called Pibloktoq, more commonly known as Arctic Hysteria.