When we think of Russia, we think of heavy coats, fur hats, and freezing our behinds off. During the long winter months, Russia becomes one giant icicle, and the whole country has to deal with insanely freezing temperatures. However, people have adapted and are making the most of these brutal winters. From polar plunges to weird weather phenomena, people are showing how unique Russia is, and it might make you want to visit next winter — or grab a heated blanket and sit next to the fire.
1. Babushka Dog Needs Some Extra Layers
Some dogs are better equipped for snow, and this dog is not one of them. It looks like a little babushka in her snowsuit and blanket. It is a good thing it has boots to protect its sensitive little paws. We don't know how any dog survives these harsh winters.
Also, who let this dog walk outside alone? We can't see her owner in this photo because she is so well camouflaged, and there is just a floating backpack and hat. She must be wondering where her human is and why they let her go for a walk in the cold alone.
2. Magical Light Pillars In Surgut
Is this something out of Star Wars, or did this really happen? This natural phenomenon occurred over Siberia, and the effect is created by the reflection of light from tiny ice crystals that are suspended in the atmosphere or that comprise high-altitude clouds.
It's like a bunch of alien space ships sent beams of light down to abduct cows and people. Don't get too close, or you might find yourself surrounded by green figures and think you are having a nightmare only to wake up on a distant planet.
3. When You Hang Your Clothes Out In -40 Degree Weather
Life lesson from everyone who lives in Russia, don't hang your clothes out to dry when the temperature drops into the negatives. Your clothes will not dry, they will just freeze, and then you will have stiff frozen clothes. No one wants their clothes to be cold in the winter.
These pants look like they are about to walk away and find someplace warm to dry. It's as if a shirtless person put on an invisibility cloak that only covered the top portion of their body. We would hate to be that pair of jeans right about now.
4. Jack Frost Must Have Been Here
It is incredible what you will find in mother nature. Russia gets so cold during the winter that practically everything is covered in frost, and when you look closely, you can see some amazing things. This looks like it could be Jack Frost's calling card that he leaves behind to show that he was there.
If someone could replicate this design, cover it in gold, and turn it into a wallpaper pattern, it would be fit for a palace. It's like a whimsical tree that you would find in a Dr. Suess book. It's gorgeous to look at until you are standing there and realize just how cold it is.
5. A City Buried In Snow
The kids must have been excited because this is at least two snow days worth of snow. The city was buried in snow, and no one could find their cars until they did hours of digging. They must have had epic snowball fights and made giant snowmen.
The girl seems happy to venture out into the deserted streets and disrupt the fresh snow. It must be so satisfying to create a deep path in the fresh snowfall. As children, we prayed every snowstorm would be this massive so that we could get out of school.
6. UFO Clouds Coming To Invade Russia
Like the light beams, these UFO clouds look a bit ominous yet whimsical and fun. These are known as lenticular clouds, and they formed over the Northern Ural Mountains. You don't see things like this every day, and it might be confusing the first time you experience it in person.
Is this how aliens are disguising their ships now? They realized humans could identify their UFOs, so they started appearing in cloud ships so we would let our guards down. That would be clever; however, we are now suspicious of clouds too.
7. With Love From Siberia
When you walk outside, and all your face slowly gets covered in a frost. This woman has everything covered except her face, and she is probably rethinking that choice. It's time to break out the ski mask when your facial hair starts to freeze over.
She looks like she regrets leaving her house and wants to return to the warmth immediately. Who can blame her? We would never survive a second in that weather. We hope she wasn't outside for too long because her face might get frostbite.
8. Frozen Flowers Like Nature's Origami
Mother nature is a master artist. She creates so many beautiful things on this planet, and this is just another piece of her artwork. These flowers are covered in a layer of frost, and they look like delicately folded paper flowers covering the ground.
It almost looks like you would either cut yourself if you touched one, or they would crumble the second someone laid a finger on them. We would be too nervous about getting close and ruining them by giving off too much heat or stepping all over them.
9. Breakfast For The Invisible Man
You can't see the person eating the food because he is obviously invisible or left in such a hurry that the food was still mid-air. The weather in Russia was so cold that the food was frozen in a floating position. Someone cracked an egg, and it froze immediately.
How cold does it have to be to freeze like that? It's like someone created a sculpture of breakfast being made. It would be a unique art installation until it started to warm up and became normal food again. Then it wouldn't be as cool as this.
10. One Step And You're A Human Popsicle
Lake Baikal in Siberia always looks like a scene out of Frozen in the winter. The lake is extremely deep, and it forms a thick layer of ice that people can walk on. It is also very clear so that you can see things below the surface of the ice.
It doesn't even seem like a real place because it is so beautiful. It popular for people to visit in the summer when it is not freezing, but we can imagine that people still come from all over to bask in the beautiful scenery. Just be careful not to fall in and turn into an ice cube.
11. A Nice Place To Get Frozen To The Bench
While this looks like a scene out of a Christmas movie, we cannot even imagine how it would feel to stand there, let alone sit on that bench. Their butts would get instant frostbite because it is negative degrees outside.
It looks like a place that people are walking through often, and we wonder if they are wearing full ski suits every time they go outside? We would need about seven layers on top and bottom plus four pairs of socks and insulated boots. Clearly, we are not equipped for that weather.
12. Volcano Erupting Into the Starry Sky
Is this how stars get into the sky? It's like the volcano is erupting and forming all the twinkling lights above it. This volcano is beautiful yet so destructive, but we can't look away. The bright red and orange of the lava against the black sky is mesmerizing.
We could stare at this all day long because it is so incredible. It is the highest active volcano in Eurasia and the highest mountain in Siberia. Although it makes for a beautiful photo, we wouldn't want to get much closer than this.
13. The Latest Trend In Hairstyles: The Ice-Hawk
Hairstyles are always changing, and trends often repeat themselves after a decade or two. Back in the '80s, mohawks were popular, and this person is trying to bring them back in style in a big way. She is making an impact with her giant ice-hawk that will surely catch everyone's eyes.
Ok, while this might not be her hair, it is pretty crazy to see just how cold it is outside. When she took a bottle of water and threw it over her head, it instantly turned to ice. It must be hard to even stand outside in weather like that. How do they get anything done there in the winter?
14. It Looks Like These People Aren't Going Anywhere Soon
We understand why the streets are deserted in most of these cities; no one can even get in their cars because they are all covered in ice. It would take so long to defrost these cars, but no one can even get inside them to start the car and warm it up.
If someone said these were ice sculptures, we would fully believe that. You could probably find one of those men in shorts scraping the ice off of these cars like it is a warm summer day because people there don't feel cold, apparently.
15. Where Is The Double Rainbow Man When You Need Him?
Remember in 2010 when the "Double Rainbow" guy went viral, and we were all obsessed with double rainbows? Where is he when you need him to narrate a photo like this? Although it's not multiple rainbows, the multiple sun halos plus a rainbow is pretty rare.
It is such a beautiful thing to see and not something you can find every day. These happen when sunlight through the ice crystals causes the light to split or be refracted. When at just the right angle, it causes us to see the halo. Someone saw this over Okrug, Siberia.
16. An Airplane Was Hit By Lightning Over Moscow
What is your biggest fear about flying beside the obvious plane crash? We have never flown during a bad storm, but we would be afraid if the plane were hit by lightning. That just doesn't seem like it would end well, and someone captured it on camera.
This must have been an incredible view from inside the plane because the lightning created a circle around it. Although it would be quite scary to see lightning that close, at least the people know they are safe because this actually happens quite often.
17. Winter Sunsets Hit Differently
We don't know what it is about winter sunsets, but they just look so much better. The gorgeous hues of pink and purple make the sky look like cotton candy, and it is even more beautiful against the stark white of the snow.
The warm colors in the sky almost make it feel like the weather isn't so intense, and then you look around and realize everything is covered in a thick layer of ice. It was nice to think about the warmth for a brief moment.
18. Moon And Sun Halo Hanging Out On The Horizon
It almost looks like someone photoshopped these pictures and added in the little Sims symbol. People witnessed moon and sun halos on the same day, and it was quite the sight to see. It's almost as if they could drive to the horizon and be transported to Neverland when they go through the bright orb.
We know Peter Pan said Neverland is the second star to the right, but we find that hard to believe after seeing this picture. It looks like Neverland is actually a moon halo. Does anyone else feel the need to drive towards the sun in the right photo?
19. Winter? What Is Winter?
We all know that one person who never seems to be affected by the weather. Even when it's freezing outside, they still seem to be fine in shorts and a t-shirt. These two boys are those people, and they must be insane because the temperature is -33 degrees!
Do these men still have toes? Isn't that around the temperature where you get frostbite within a few minutes of going outside? On top of not wearing warm clothing, they are also eating ice cream. Their mothers would surely not approve of this behavior.
20. When They Say "The Hail Is The Size Of Golf Balls," They Mean It
We thought people were always exaggerating when they said the hail was the size of golf balls, but we believe them after seeing this. Imagine getting hit in the head with one of these or the damage it would do to cars on the street. What is going on in Russia?
These are massive, and we can't imagine what they must sound like as they hit the roof of a house or shatter on the ground. It would be terrifying to get stuck in a hail storm when the hail is this big. It would be best to take cover and start praying at that point.
21. Does This Tree Have White Leaves Or Is The Ice That Thick?
This is the type of snowscape scenery that can simultaneously delight the soul and chill your insides at the same time. The tree is covered in a layer of ice that is so thick; it makes the tree look completely white. It seems like it is in the middle of nowhere, and there is nothing but snow for miles.
The scene looks otherworldly, and we can imagine someone going there to escape the crowds in the busy cities and get some peace and quiet. Without a cloud in the sky, the white of the snow stands out even more against the blue sky, and it is truly magical.
22. The Streets Are Empty Because The Cars Won't Start In This Temperature
The frosts in Siberia are just a little bit different, and the streets are completely deserted because no one wants to attempt driving in weather like that. Their cars also have problems starting because the temperatures are extreme.
The dense frosty fog covered the city, and the temperature was below -42 degrees. How can anyone live in those conditions? The second you walk outside, it would feel like your whole body is frozen, and you can't move.
23. Even The Trees Could Use Some Blankets
The trees in Siberia are so cold that they are crying tears, and it is turning into icicles. Make sure not to stand under one of these because you never know when one of those sharp icicles will fall off the tree. Even if it is more beautiful from below, that doesn't mean you should look straight at it.
It is like a portal into a mysterious frozen world where everything is made of ice and snow, even the houses. Olaf would probably be delighted in a place like this with his friends Elsa and Anna. Maybe the magical world in Frozen could be brought to life.
24. The Birds Flew South And It Was Even Colder There
These poor little birds had to make themselves extra puffy just to stay warm. Why didn't they fly somewhere warm for the winter? Did they think they were on lockdown as well? Maybe the bird community also set travel restrictions because they were confused by the lack of humans.
These guys are one tough flock, so don't try to mess with them. They can withstand pretty much anything after enduring the freezing winter. Why hasn't someone invited them in for a sip of vodka and a chair or nest by the fire?
25. "Can You Spare A Hot Cup Of Cheese Please?"
This mouse statue must have been shivering in the harsh winter because someone decided to give it a scarf. The statue commemorates all the lab mice that are used to help advance science. It's not like they had a choice, but at least the people recognize their contribution.
The mouse is knitting a strand of DNA, which it would probably use to keep itself warm, but it got frozen in time because the temperatures were too cold. At first, we thought it was a Yoda statue knitting a sweater, and then we realized Yoda doesn't need sweaters.
26. Not A Place You Want Your Car To Break Down
Someone took this incredible drone shot of a long road with nothing around for miles, and with all that snow, we would not want to get stranded here. Imagine how long it would take to get someone to come to tow your car.
It looks so serene and quiet but in an almost eerie way. If you really love isolation, you could build a house right in the middle of that group of trees, and no one would ever bother you. It is perfect for extreme introverts who never want to interact with others again.
27. This Is A Sign Of Impending Doom
When you see these clouds rolling in, it's time to run for the bunker because nothing good can come from these doom clouds. They look like sky tsunamis that only roll in when something bad is about to happen. We can only imagine what kind of storm took place a few minutes after these photos.
It looks like the streaks left behind from the Death Eaters in Harry Potter, and those people never brought anything positive with them. The city went dark within a few seconds, and we would be highly concerned if we lived there.
28. Mother Nature Is Making A Work Of Art
Mother nature is always working her magic to make the world a more beautiful place. Even in the smallest places, you can find something breathtaking. This frost looks like beautiful flowers on the glass, especially with the sunset behind it.
The downside might be the extremely cold temperatures in Russia, but they get to see some fascinating things made from the ice in nature. Everywhere you turn, you can find something beautiful if you just slow down and look around you.
29. So That's How Santa Gets To The Kids In Siberia
Although Santa uses his sleigh to get to the rest of the world, he takes a paddleboard to get to the good boys and girls in Siberia. His sleigh can't get through the thick fog, and the reindeer have trouble navigating, so he takes matters into his own hands.
We can't believe someone was able to capture Santa on camera. He usually comes in the middle of the night when no one will see him to keep the spirit of Christmas alive. Also, he doesn't look like he has many presents on that paddleboard. Does Santa use a shrink ray to transport the gifts easily?
30. Fifty Shades Of Blue
If someone said this was a painting, we wouldn't be surprised. This gorgeous scene needs to be on a museum's wall or hanging in someone's home because it is absolutely stunning. All the shades of blue with the snow make it look like a fairytale come to life.
The temperature dropped to -45 degrees, and we can't imagine how this person got the courage to venture outside for the picture. Harsh weather seems to make the most gorgeous scenes. However, we would rather look at these scenes online than experience them in person.
31. How Can Anyone Drive When It Looks Like This?
We thought San Francisco had intense fog, but their days look clear compared to this photo. At first, we thought the snow was so high that it was covering the tall buildings, but then we realized it was just super thick fog. Can you imagine trying to drive in these conditions?
People in Russia must be scary drivers if they have to deal with these conditions for a few months each year. We thought New York drivers were scary, but they probably seem calm next to anyone who has to deal with this daily.
32. Doge Is Not A Fan Of The Weather
Have you ever wondered how your dog really feels about walking in the snow? Well, this doge who had to go outside in -45 degrees weather was clearly not happy about it. No coat or pair of booties could help the situation, and we are sure he would prefer to be inside with his toys.
The wind was whipping his face, and he was not happy about it at all. Some dogs are made for those harsh Russian winters, and this doge said, "nope, this is not for me. Bork Bork." He seriously needs some boots to complete this look because his paw pads are probably hurting.
33. One Lonely Truck And Nothing For Miles
This is like the opening scene of a tragic movie as the lonely truck drives along the icy deserted road and no one is around for miles. We are sure you can guess how that story ends, but it is still incredible to see photos like this.
It's incredible how clean the road is, but how much snow is on either side. Where we are from, the snowplows always leave some layer of slush behind, and the roads are never fully cleared like this. We would feel much safer in the winter if the roads were this clear.
34. Polar Plunge: Advance Level
When you jump into the water in temperatures that cold, it almost seems like you would immediately turn into a human popsicle like the cartoons. The men in Russia must have zero nerve endings because they seem to be fine walking around in shorts and jumping into freezing water during the winter.
We get cold just looking at this picture, and we couldn't imagine forcing ourselves to jump into icy waters. Not to mention the fear of getting frostbite either in the water or while fumbling around trying to get clothes back on. We give them credit for their bravery.
35. Winter Charm Straight Out Of A Fairytale Book
Even in the most severe weather, you can find the charming side of things. This beautiful street is bright and colorful against all the snow, and it is like something you would find in a Disney fairytale. Houses are usually bland colors, so it is intriguing to see such bright colors.
The longer we stare at this, the more we are waiting for some giant Russian nesting dolls to come out of one of these homes. It is an incredible sight to see, and most people don't get to see this side of the country's beauty.
36. Does This Man Have Any Feeling In His Body? The World May Never Know
Like the other men who did the polar plunge, this man is on another level of crazy. He must be numb all over his body because he is fully submerged and chilling (literally) in the icy waters. It is probably freezing outside the water as well, so hopefully, someone will bring him a warm towel when he gets out.
While taking a cold shower or dipping into an ice bath is good for circulation, we don't know if many people would recommend taking it to this level. This is like an extreme ice bath for only the strongest souls. We are waiting for his bear and eyebrows to start forming icicles as well.
37. Feeling Cold Just Looking At This
Is it just us, or do those three buildings look a bit like energy drink cans? Maybe we are just sleep-deprived and in need of some caffeine, but they look like something you would drink from above. The whole city looks interesting because of the thick frosty fog hanging around.
The city looks deserted because we can't imagine anyone would want to leave their homes when the weather is this bad. Obviously, people have probably gotten used to it after living there their whole lives, but still, we wouldn't want to go outside either.
38. Walking In A Winter Wonderland
When we think of the magic of the holiday season, this is the exact picture that comes to mind. It looks like a winter wonderland, and they know how to do the holiday season right. With the snow and the perfectly decorated tree, it is straight out of a Christmas movie, and we can't get enough.
Even though the holidays have come and gone, this picture makes us want to curl up with a hot chocolate by the fire and watch Christmas movies. This is definitely on our winter travel bucket list as soon as the world goes back to normal.
39. The Ocean Is Fighting Back
The ocean has decided to fight back because it is creating a waterspout. These are like tornadoes on the ocean, and while they are not deadly, they are a severe marine hazard. As long as they don't start throwing sharks from the sea, everyone should be safe.
We have seen one of these before, and they just appear out of nowhere. While these happen all over the world, many people noticed it on this day and couldn't believe their eyes. They must not see these often in Russia.
40. Thanos Is Getting Closer
It's time to call in the Avengers because it looks like Thanos is back with a vengeance. This time he has the power of lightning, and we do not want to know what his plan for destruction is this time. Last time he wiped away half the population, what else can he do?
The purple lightning is a bit freaky, and we don't know why that happened. The gods must be angry that the people don't understand that cold weather means you should be wearing warm clothes instead of risking frostbite. That is the only logical explanation.