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Matinee: 'Slurpee Waves 2018' Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

13 January 2018

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 132nd in our series of Saturday matinees today: Slurpee Waves 2018.

This two-and-a-half minute clip contains both video and stills of the freezing surf off Nantucket in Massachusetts as a bomb cyclone hit the East coast a few days ago.

On that occasion, Photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh got a voice mail from a rather nutty friend who said the waves were really good so he was going surfing despite the freezing temperatures.

But what he was surfing was slurpee waves, whose top layers freeze, tossing slush silently on the shore.

The video of them looks like slow motion but it's not. That's just the power of the wave motion slowed down by the freezing water.

The first half of the clip is, in fact, video, showing that slow motion wave movement, which would otherwise be hard to fathom. But the clip ends with some nice stills so you can appreciate the structure of the frozen foam.

Nimerfroh was interviewed last week on the PBS NewsHour by science producer Nsikan Akpan, who explains a little of the science behind freezing waves. And if you fall in love with Nimerfroh's stills of the slurpee waves, they are available as prints from his gallery. They might look good on the refrigerator, come to think of it.

Meanwhile, on the warmer West coast, we're preparing for Mavericks next week.

No slow motion effect there.

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