The Unusual Phenomena of Snag, Yukon: A Glimpse into the Extreme Cold

Snag, a small town located in the Yukon Territory of Canada, is no stranger to extreme cold. During one particularly frigid spell, the temperature plummeted to a bone-chilling -83°F (-63.9°C), giving rise to a series of unusual and fascinating phenomena. From hearing people speak miles away to witnessing breath turn into powder, this article explores the extraordinary occurrences that took place in Snag during this unforgettable cold snap.

The Acoustic Marvels of Snag

One of the most remarkable phenomena reported during the extreme cold in Snag was the incredible ability to hear people speaking from up to four miles away. This exceptional acoustic feat can be attributed to a phenomenon known as “temperature inversion.” During a temperature inversion, a layer of cold air is trapped near the ground beneath a layer of warmer air. This cold air layer acts as a sound channel, allowing sounds to travel further without dissipating, leading to the seemingly supernatural hearing range experienced by Snag’s residents.

Breath Turning to Powder

Another extraordinary occurrence during the extreme cold was the transformation of people’s breath into a fine powder that fell straight to the ground. When the temperature drops to such extreme lows, the moisture in exhaled breath rapidly crystallizes, forming tiny ice particles. These particles, too heavy to remain suspended in the air, fall to the ground, creating a visual spectacle reminiscent of a miniature snowfall.

River Ice Booming Like Gunshots

During this intensely cold period, Snag’s residents also reported hearing the unnerving sound of river ice booming like gunshots. As temperatures plummet, the ice on rivers and lakes contracts and expands, creating tremendous pressure. When the pressure becomes too great, the ice suddenly cracks, releasing a sharp, explosive sound similar to a gunshot. This phenomenon, known as “ice cracking” or “ice booming,” is a stark reminder of the powerful forces at play in nature, particularly in regions exposed to extreme cold.


The town of Snag, Yukon, has experienced some truly remarkable phenomena during periods of extreme cold. The ability to hear conversations from miles away, breath transforming into powder, and the explosive sounds of cracking river ice are just a few examples of the awe-inspiring occurrences that take place in such frigid conditions. These extraordinary events serve as a testament to the resilience of both the natural world and the people who inhabit it, as well as a reminder of the wonders that can emerge in even the harshest of environments.






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