Photo/IllutrationLake Akanko in Kushiro, Hokkaido, is adorned with a carpet of "frost flowers" in front of Mount Oakandake on Feb. 8. (Hirokazu Misaki)

  • Photo/Illustraion

KUSHIRO, Hokkaido--The Pyeongchang Olympics may have figure skating, but it doesn’t have a monopoly on all things amazing on ice, as demonstrated by the natural phenomenon of “frost flowers.”

The delicate features are formed by vapor rapidly cooling and crystallizing, giving the appearance of flowers.

The white blooms appeared on the thin-ice surface of Lake Akanko, where all the requisite conditions were met in the early morning of Feb. 8: clear skies, no wind, and temperatures of minus 15 degrees or below.

The day's lowest temperature fell to minus 20.5 degrees. Numerous frosty flowers resembling feathers emerged.

Visitors may be lucky enough to see frost flowers on parts of the lake including around Mount Bokke, a mud volcano located to its east, through the end of February if the right conditions are repeated, according to the Akankohan Eco-Museum Center.