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Photo Journal: Advancing giants

(Mainichi)

Giant frost and snow-covered trees known as "ice monsters" are seen on Mount Haku, along the Ishikawa-Gifu prefectural border in this recent photo. Ice monsters first form when the moisture on coniferous trees freezes, and then build in size as wind-blown snow piles on top of them. Due to climate change, "monster" sightings are usually limited to some parts of the Tohoku region, including the Zao and Hakkoda areas, though sightings were also reported in Hokkaido and Nagano Prefecture in the 1920s. These frozen trees discovered at an altitude of around 2,100 meters on the 2,702-meter peak are the westernmost monster sighting since records began in 1920, and are thought to have been produced by the recent cold wave affecting the Japanese archipelago. (Mainichi)

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