Nature has the ability to produce some very wonderful works of art. Farmers in Michigan, USA, discovered some incredible “ghost apples” hanging from their trees after extremely cold weather.
Initially, they may seem to be Christmas tree decorations made of glass. However, they’re truly made of ice! Farmer Andrew Sietsema captured these images as he was trimming apple trees in the region after a round of freezing rainfall. So-called “ghost apples” are unharvested apples that have had their frozen shells hollowed out by the artist.
Sietsema, a local orchard manager says that these apples are of the Jonagold type. Nevertheless, he said in an interview with the WOOD-TV that these apples are referred to as “Jona-ghosts” by some. His assessment was that the ice was about half an inch thick.
But how can anything like this happen?
Susan Brown is a Professor of Agriculture and Life Science at Cornell University and she spoke with TODAY Food about this amazing occurrence. She explained that the flesh of certain apples, especially those left on trees beyond the harvest season, may decompose into something like applesauce. In the same way, as a water balloon is inflated, the skin seals it in.
When freezing rain falls on an apple, the fruit quickly ices over, giving the appearance of a ghost apple. First, it creates a frozen coating on top of the fruit. Apples have a freezing point that is somewhat lower than that of water. As a result, the apple thaws before the ice does. The rotten apple mush pours out of the frozen sphere’s bottom, giving the impression of an ice ghost.
These photos were captured during a polar vortex that affected areas of America. During this kind of weather event, the temperature plummets because of a whirling pool of frigid air. Perhaps these circumstances are also required for the phenomena to take place.
After hearing the term “ghost apple,” Brown expressed her appreciation for it. The reason she loves this story and the enthusiasm it inspires is rather unique. And it’s all the hard labor that apple farmers put in, regardless of the weather. Andrew Sietsema’s devotion to his trees may be seen in the fact that he braved the cold to care for them. That’s why he was able to catch this stunning moment.