Weird Nature How Alligators Survive When Water Freezes Over Might Surprise You  

Rebecca High

The Shallotte River Swamp park in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, froze over during the winter of 2017-2018, but a group of hardy alligators survived through the cold, as this video shows.

According to experts, alligators can live in water as cold as 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but surviving the 32-degree temperatures was surprising. Submerged under a thin film of ice, these Carolina gators kept their nostrils above water, heating small openings through the ice with their breath and maintaining their ability to breathe.

The alligators achieved a hibernation state of "brumation," in which both their metabolism and breathing slowed down.

Watch this surreal video to see how these alligators survive the frozen pond and the changing climates of already-dramatic ecosystems.