“Snow Monster” Spotted in Mount Rainier Creek

Snow monster? Photo: Gisela Taranovski


A National Geographic reader just sent us this curious photo, which we have been staring at longingly today, as we sweat through the longest heat wave on record in the nation’s capital. Half of the country is suffering through a drought, so it’s especially refreshing to gaze at such cool slopes.

Gisela Taranovski, a former planner for Boeing and a kayak builder, tells us she shot this scene of nature’s whimsy on a snow-shoeing trip with her son and daughter-in-law to Washington State’s Mount Rainier in late December 2009.

“We were stopping by a creek to take in the scenery, when I noticed this strange phenomenon in the creek,” Taranovski told us via email. “There is nothing photoshopped, this is just the way it was.”

We find the interplay of water and ice compelling as well as cooling.

Have you seen figures in water you’d like to share?

Hint: If you have trouble finding the monster above, here’s a detail:

snow monster closeup
Detail of above. Photo: Gisela Taranovski



Brian Clark Howard is an Environment Writer and Editor at National Geographic News. He previously served as an editor for TheDailyGreen.com and E/The Environmental Magazine, and has written for TheAtlantic.com, FastCompany.com, PopularMechanics.com, Yahoo!, MSN, Miller-McCune and elsewhere. He is the co-author of six books, including Geothermal HVACGreen Lighting and Build Your Own Small Wind Power System.