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Storm Turns Ohio Lighthouse Into Beautiful Ice Sculpture

Dec 16, 2010 – 6:01 PM
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Ben Muessig

Ben Muessig Contributor

(Dec. 16) -- Surf's up! And it might not come down until spring.

Freezing temperatures and big waves on Lake Erie have turned a Cleveland lighthouse into an unbelievable ice sculpture.

Lake spray lifted by heavy winds during a recent storm encased the 99-year-old Cleveland Harbor West Pierhead Lighthouse in a thick shell of ice.

"A really big storm came through and threw a lot of wind. The waves on the lake kept battering the lighthouse and splashing it. That water turned into ice and it kept building up and accumulating," Matt Grabski, guest services supervisor at Cleveland's Great Lakes Science Center, told AOL News.

"This doesn't happen often -- in recent memory, it's really quite unique."

The ice-coated lighthouse is certainly beautiful -- it's been described by the press as "seemingly divine," "nature's artwork" and "the coolest thing in Ohio."


But it's not necessarily good for sailors. The flashing red-and-white beacon emitted by the automated lighthouse -- which is maintained by the Coast Guard -- has reportedly become difficult to see through the frosty shell.

Though Cleveland's waterways might be more famous for catching fire than freezing over, Grabski says he hopes the striking image of the frozen lighthouse will remind people of Lake Erie's inherent beauty.

"Hopefully this will get people looking at it and seeing how wonderful the lake is," said Grabski, whose museum actually exhibits the original Fresnel lens used at the lighthouse.

"It would be good if the lake got some positive attention," he said.
Filed under: Nation, Weird News
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