The polar vortex took the country by storm and while some of the affects have been big problems, others have been enjoying the end results of the bizarrely cold weather.
Andrew Sietsema was one of those people. A farm manager, Andrew was pruning apple trees in western Michigan on an icy orchard when he discovered a rare phenomenon called “ghost apples.”
“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 shared with 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).”
“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,” he added. “‘Jonagold’ is one of my favorite apple varieties, but we’ll call these “Jonaghosts.’”
According to Andrew, not many fruits and/or veggies are able to do this.
“You could only find them on other fruits and vegetables if they remained unharvested and persisted into the winter. Most crops do not.”
A retired fruit and vegetable horticulturist, William Shoemaker, from the University of Illinois, shared with Forbes how those apples leftover from harvest went through a week of “exceptionally cold weather” thanks to the polar vortex.
“Besides being somewhat mummified, they could also be rotten,” he said. “[If so,] they maintain their form, but their substance gets closer to applesauce.”
When the apple’s temperature drops to -18°C (0°F), their structure collapses, and a few could “spew their rotten contents successfully.”
While folks may wonder as to why the apples did not freeze solid, Shoemaker says that the apple has a high acid content — so it must get extremely cold before it would freeze.
The internet enjoyed the bizarre phenomenon, with commenters saying:
“Quick. Get some before Apple sells it for $1,999 each.”
“I feel like hundreds of years ago, a lot of women got burned at the stake because of this.”
“Is this a teaser for the final season of Game of Thrones?”
“Can I eat it? So I can become a ghost.”
“Wow that’s day after tomorrow kinda stuff.”
According to The Guardian, there are many who argue that freezing halts the rotting process when it comes to fruits and veggies.
And if kept undisturbed in a good freezer, the produce will have be preserved in their prime — retaining their minerals as well as vitamins.
So the next time you decide to eat frozen anything — be it of the ghostly nature or no — remember it is most likely just the same as eating it fresh.
Although, we can’t promise it will taste spooky!
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