Minnesota Farmer Single-Handedly Builds 50-Foot Snowman

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Greg Novak, a farmer from Gilman, Minnesota, spent hundreds of hours building a gigantic snowman. He calls the towering 50-foot structure ‘Granddaddy’. While some neighbors have seriously questioned Greg’s sanity, he hopes that the snowman will shake onlookers out of their winter blues. “If you can’t beat the winter, embrace it,” is his motto.

Novak came up with the idea for Granddaddy in late January, when he had to move great mounds of snow to prevent the roofs of his greenhouses from collapsing. “As long as you’re moving it, might as well do something practical with it,” he thought. So he set to work with all his farming equipment. Novak began by piling the snow on to skid loaders. He then used a silage blower to direct the snow into stacked cylinders – Granddaddy’s body and head. The base cylinder is 45 foot wide, while the others are smaller but still impressive in size.

“Granddaddy’s arms are a 61-foot grain elevator. An augur they used to be. The eyes are plywood – 4 foot wide by 6 foot high. The nose is a 55-gallon barrel, the smile is like, 10 foot wide. The scarf is about 80 foot long, the broom is about 35 foot high, the buttons are garbage can covers,” Novak describes his creation.  Snow storms, frigid temperatures and other weather-related setbacks often hampered Novak’s progress. “The weather wasn’t cooperating. The higher I got, it seemed like the more weather-related issues I got. Like too warm, you couldn’t blow the snow. Too cold or too windy, you couldn’t blow the snow because it wouldn’t stay up there. But we got it up.”

Granddaddy-snowman

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Juhyou – The Beautiful Snow Monsters of Japan

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The words “beautiful” and “monster” don’t usually go well together, but when talking about a breathtaking natural wonder like the snow-and-ice-covered trees known as juhyou in Japan, we thought we’d make an exception.

Every year, during the cold winter months, snow monsters make their appearance on the snow covered slopes of Japan’s northern prefectures. But instead of running out of their way, tourists flock to these places to admire their natural beauty. Every one of these juhyou monsters is uniquely shaped by Mother Nature, who uses strong winds as her tools and thick layers of snow and ice as art mediums. Juhyou translates as “frost-covered trees” and is a popular phenomenon that takes place in many of Japan’s northern ski resorts.

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Bavarian Villagers Build Church Entirely Out of Snow

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A church built entirely out of snow and ice – sounds magical, and looks pretty too. It was built this year in the Bavarian forest by the villagers of Mitterfirmiansreut, Germany. Located close to the Czech border, the church is bathed in a beautiful blue light. It was opened to public on Wednesday evening, blessed by Dean Kajetan Steinbeisser. Although the villagers had hoped to have it open before Christmas, the lack of sufficient snow caused a delay in their project.

The snow church was constructed in commemoration of a similar church built in 1911, exactly 100 years ago. The older one was actually a sign of protest. In those days, the nearest church was in Mauth, a 90-minute hike away, which wasn’t always easy to complete. The residents of the secluded Mitterfirmiansreut village then came up with the idea to build the snow church, in the hope that it would draw attention to their plight. The winter of 1910/1911 was rich in snow, and the construction of the church began in Feb, 1911. Both men and women worked hard to place blocks of solid snow bricks, building a strong and sturdy church. The final structure was 14m long , 7m wide and 4m high. The first worship was held on the 28th of March, 1911.

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Yukigassen – Competitive Snowball Fighting from Japan

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If you grew up in a place where it snowed, you probably would have mastered the art of throwing snowballs. Bet no one thought much of your talent back then. Too bad you never heard of Yukigassen, a snowball fighting competition that is held in Japan every year, and now in other parts of the world as well.

Yukigassen, literally meaning “snow battle”, originated around 20 years ago as a marketing scheme. The Mount Showa-Shinzan resort wanted to attract more tourists in the winter, so they devised this game, which certainly sounds like it could be a lot of fun. It is being described as a combination of chess, paintball and backyard brawling. The objective of the game is pretty simple. Players of the opposing team need to be knocked out with snowballs. But of course, there are more technicalities involved. For instance, the field on which Yukigassen is played is a 44 X 12 yard rectangle divided by red and blue lines, similar to the layout of a hockey rink. Three periods, three minutes in duration each, constitute the match. The team that wins two out of three is ultimately the winner of the match. A period could either be won by having more standing players than the team at the opposite end, or by capturing the other team’s flag without getting hit by their snowballs.

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Giant Frosty the Snowman Built in Poland

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It has been snowing for quite some time in Poland and with all that “raw material” at hand ,three inhabitants of  Trzebnica city, Poland started building a snowman. The problem is they didn’t know when to stop.

The 31ft giant, named Milocinek, was finished after 6 days of work and is now the pride and joy of the city, which is pretty normal, if you believe the rumors that this is not just the largest snowman in Poland, but  also the largest in the world. I hate to break it to them, but this doesn’t even come close to beating the record for the world’s largest snowman.  Milocinek is so large they had to use a barrel for a hat and a traffic cone for his nose, instead of the usual carrot.

Although the three men who built Milocinek started of out of pure boredom, they became more and more enthusiastic as their work progressed., and didn’t stop until they realized their snowman was taller than pretty much all the surrounding houses. In fact, Milocinek is so large they had to use a barrel for a hat and a traffic cone for his nose, instead of the usual carrot.

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The Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani Yaen-koen Park

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Even though the name of this park might not sound very familiar you’ve probably heard about the Snow Monkeys of Japan.

The Jigokudani Yaen-koen (Hell Valley Wild Monkey Park) is located in the Nagano mountains and since it was opened, in 1964, this park has been the attraction of tourists from all over the world, eager to see the famous snow monkeys.

The Japanese Macaques (Macaca Fuscata) are monkeys native to northern Japan and very much used to being around people. Even so, the park’s officials recommend that you shouldn’t try  touching them or even looking directly into their eyes, as this is considered, in the monkey society, a sign of enmity.

They are the most north-living species of primate, able to survive temperatures of below -15 °C. Their bodies are covered in a brown-gray coat of fur and they have red skin on their face, hands and bottom. Although they sometimes spend their time in the mountains, they just love bathing and swimming in the hot springs. In the park you can sometimes find about 200 monkeys enjoying the hot water of Japanese onsen in the spring and especially during Japan’s extremely cold winters.

The sight of monkeys in hot water with snow falling on their heads is particularly beautiful.

The Jigokudani park is located in the center of Japan, on the valley of the Yokoyu River, in a harsh environment where snow is present for about four months, reason enough to be named Hell Valley, although the monkeys seem to love this place.


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Moscow’s Army of Snowmen

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No, it’s not the Cold War all over again, it’s just the Russian way of celebrating Slava Polunin’s Snow Show.

Every year, after a heavy snowfall, Moscow becomes the home of around 100 snowmen, part of an advertising installation. This time, the army of snowmen showed up in central Moscow, but every year is pops-up in a different part of the city, in order to keep everyone guessing.

The snowmen are part of an advertising campaign to promote an annual performance by famous Russian clowns. As you can imagine, locals love snowmen and lose no opportunity to have their pictures with them.

Photos by GETTYIMAGES via Daylife

snow-men-army

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