Mother Nature is responsible for some of the most impressive - and startling - sights ever recorded in human history. She has shown us time and time again that she is a force to be reckoned with, especially when it comes to sub-zero temperatures, which, this month, have been sweeping across the US in a polar vortex so extreme that Niagara Falls has frozen over.
And while the sight of a frozen Niagara Falls is certainly something to be marveled at, what's even more impressive are the "ghost apples" which have appeared in a Michigan Forest. They understandably caught farmer Andrew Sietsema's eye when he was pruning his orchard, which had been destroyed by the weather, because they are such an unusual phenomenon.
"When I pruned the tree it would be shaken in the process, and the mush would slip out of the bottom of the 'ghost apple,'" Andrew explained to Bored Panda. "Most apples just fell off, ice and all. But quite a few would leave a cool 'ghost apple' behind."
"I guess it was just cold enough that the ice covering the apple hadn't melted yet, but it was warm enough that the apple inside turned to complete mush (apples have a lower freezing point than water)," he continued.
"I'm sure you could find them at any orchard on the Ridge (near Sparta, MI), or at least any that still had a few unpicked apples hanging on the trees," Andrew added. 'Jonagold' is one of my favorite apple varieties, but we'll call these 'Jonaghosts.'"
And while one might assume, based on Andrew's description of how the frozen apples were created, that this would be possible with other fruits and vegetables, it's not. "You could only find them on other fruits and vegetables if they remained unharvested and persisted into the winter. Most crops do not," he said.
Oh well, but on the plus side, few fruits have as many sinister associations as the humble apple. If the Evil Queen from Snow White saw these, I'm sure she'd want a few for herself.
Andrew, however, is not the only person to offer up more information about this phenomenon. Retired fruit and vegetable horticulturist, William Shoemake, from the University of Illinois, said in an interview with Forbes that these ghost apples had been created as a result of America's recent polar vortex because of the "exceptionally cold weather".
"Besides being somewhat mummified, they could also be rotten," he said. "[If so,] they maintain their form, but their substance gets closer to applesauce."
After making the unusual discovery, Andrew shared pictures of his orchard's ghost apples on social media, and understandably, the garnered a lot of attention, with the majority of users remarking that they'd never seen anything like them before.
Some even joked that had this discovery been made in the not-so-distant past, if a woman made it, she'd have been accused of witchcraft. Thankfully, we're much more understanding of natural phenomenon these days - even if it is rare!
Incredibly though, some other people had witnessed the unusual phenomenon themselves.
But perhaps the best remark came from Facebook user Louie Louis who remarked that if tech giant Apple got wind of the ghost apples, they'd be quick to sell them for an outrageous price. Touché.
Have you been lucky enough to see ghost apples before? Or witness another unusual phenomenon caused by the cold? Let us know in the comments section, and if possible, share pictures! We'd love to see more of Mother Nature's incredible feats.