Nunavut is Canada’s newest territory and the coldest as it stretches to the Arctic Circle. Drinking hot tea is a very popular pastime for Nunavut residents who see only a couple of hours of daylight and experience temperatures that dip to 40 below (Fahrenheit or Celsius).
The setting mid-day sun proved the perfect backdrop for a splash of tea tossed in a tinted arc. The photo, posted to Flickr where it received 75,000 views and Facebook has since gone viral, according to The Toronto Globe & Mail and Toronto Star, CBC News, Yahoo News and Huffington Post.
Photographer Michael H. Davies, who lives in Pangnirtung, Nunavut, a village of 1,400 only 20 kilometers from the Arctic Circle set out to frame the sunset in crystals that emerge instantly from boiling water tossed into a frigid sky.
Posing with a cup of tea in front of icebergs, polar bears, giant snow dunes, local landmarks and desolate tundra is a popular according to a Facebook post by Konfirmed Media.
“The photo shows local resident Markus Siivola throwing hot tea into the air as he bends backwards. In the –40 C weather, the tea freezes as soon as it’s tossed,” reports Konfirmed.
Davies said the whole photo shoot was planned after he saw a similar photo elsewhere and decided he could top it.
“I went through the science of it,” he said. “I figured, ‘OK, I need 40 below, I need calm winds, I need the sunset in the background so it lights up my fog when I film it.’”
Siivola prepared six thermos containers of boiling water, tossing in the tea as an afterthought.
“In each one we threw in a tea bag because we thought, if this doesn’t work, at least we can have a tea, because, as everybody knows, in Nunavut we go to great lengths to have tea somewhere strange, whether it’s in front of an iceberg, or on top of a mountain or in the middle of the tundra,” he said.