Update (1/24/19): It happened again.
Gators, though terrifying beasts, have a great many talents. They make great pets, can propel you to social media fame, and have even been known to politely ring unsuspecting homeowners' doorbells. But one of their most spectacular (and most horrifying) skills has to do with how they survive in frigid temperatures, like the ones a recent bomb cyclone brought to the East Coast.
On Sunday, a North Carolina "swamp park" that takes care of rescued gators uploaded footage of the critters weathering the storm that brought some rare snowfall to the southern states. While the temperatures proved too brutal for some animals, the gators were just fine—frozen alive in their pond with their snouts sticking out of the water, just enough so they could still breathe.
George Howard, general manager of Shallotte River Swamp Park, took some footage of the frozen reptiles, explaining that gators have an uncanny ability to know just when the water is about to freeze—wiggling themselves into position to survive when it turns to ice. They stay that way, shutting their bodies down, until warmer weather comes through.
The swamp park's videos took off on Facebook, where folks who were worried about the alligators' well-being asked how entombing one's reptilian self in ice could possibly be a good idea. "If there is a heavy snow and covered their nose would they then die?" one commenter asked. "Why don't you break up the ice for them?" another wondered.
The swamp park assured everyone that the gators had evolved to act this way, and that they'd be fine. Once the ice had melted, the park posted a video of the beasts freeing themselves from their wintry prisons, and they began basking once more in the North Carolina sun.
Next to showing no qualms about eating one another, the whole phenomenon illustrates how gators will do just about anything to survive. If only humans could simply dive into a freezing pond, have their bodies shut down, and wait out this arctic hellscape in peace, too.
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