By Taniya Dutta
With Antarctic temperatures sweeping across the US, people in Chicago have put the extreme cold to the test in a variety of creative ways.
Olha Hamolia, 28, and her boyfriend Dmytro Pavlichenko, 32, threw a pan of boiling water in the air to experiment in the brutal weather conditions – and discovered it instantly froze into a thick snow cloud of crystals.
Meanwhile, musician and photographer Matthew Tolzmann, 48, braved the freezing cold to make amazing snow sculptures on the pavements to make the streets more ‘fun’.
The city remains in the grip of a polar vortex with the temperature yesterday [WEDS] dropping to -30 degrees Celsius.
Technical recruiter Olha, who has lived in Chicago for the last 25 years, said: “I have never felt temperatures like this before.
“I’d seen a video like this before but in Siberia or Antarctica, and I decided to try it to see if our weather was that bad. It turns out it was!
“It has been unexpectedly cold with very harsh Arctic wind
“Our building heating system collapsed due to such low temperatures.
“The weather is so bad that it is better not to go outside and stay at home until it improves.”
Matthew took the opportunity to carve out larger-than-life sculptures in the snow – spending an hour in the freezing weather creating a smiling polar bear.
But although people have been playing in the ice for fun – the truth is the brutal weather is dangerous with chunks of ice forming in the Chicago River, and train tracks in the city set ablaze while transit workers try to keep the steel from freezing.
Reports say Chicago will be colder than some parts of Antarctica this week thanks to the polar vortex.
Matthew said: “My feet froze doing the bear.
“The temperature really started dropping but I hadn’t been able to do many snow sculptures lately, so I braved the cold.
“It’s my way of making a chore fun and also making the street look a little more whimsical in the winter.
“I started doing these when I had to shovel the snow.
“I’m not a sculptor or a trained artist. I’m a musician and photographer, but every year my sculptures get a little better.”