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About four miles east of Coudersport, in the town of Sweden, in Potter County, Pennsylvania, lies the most puzzling geological anomaly. It’s a small cave, or a pit, with an eight-feet-wide by ten-feet-long opening in the ground. At the bottom of the forty-foot deep chasm is a layer of ice. Large icicles measuring up to 25 feet long and often up to 3 feet thick hangs from the sides and just below the cave’s mouth.

This is the Coudersport Ice Mine, one of nature’s many ice-manufacturing plants. However, unlike regular ice caves that form only in winter, the ice in Coudersport Ice Mine forms during the warmest season of the year. The ice starts to form in spring, increasing in volume as the weather gets hotter and hotter. When winter arrives and there is snow and ice everywhere, and when it would seem to be the most natural time for ice formation, the ice in Coudersport Ice Mine melts away to nothing.

coudersport-ice-mine-1

Photo credit: rivercouple75/Tripadvisor

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