The polar vortex of record-breaking cold weather that recently spread across the U.S. and Canada has been so impressively frigid that even Niagara Falls froze, transforming a natural wonder into an entirely different sort of awesome.

You might think that such bitter cold conditions would preclude tourists from visiting the falls, but these dramatic photos are proof to the contrary. Thanks to them we all get to see an uncommon natural phenomenon that hasn’t been witnessed for many years.

"According to historical records, during only one year, 1848, has freezing weather caused the thousands of cubic feet of water per second flowing over the Niagara Falls to run dry, an event thought to have been caused by ice jamming and damming upriver, according to”

We hope the photographers responsible for these amazing images were rewarded for their determination with giant cups of hot chocolate loaded with plenty of marshmallows.