What if your playground was made of ice?
Workers are building an ice playground in a city in Alaska. It will include a pirate ship slide made from 65 refrigerator-sized blocks of ice. It will even have mazes.
The work began at the George Horner Ice Park in Fairbanks. It's in preparation for the annual world ice sculpture championships, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.
A giant ice lens also is planned. Ice championships chairman Dick Brickley said it will be 12 feet in diameter. It will be powerful enough to focus the sun's rays and start a fire, he said.
The ice is so clear, the rays go right through it. One small telescope in the past started a fire on a piece of plywood.
Another new attraction is an experimental sculpture. It will be carved on land. Then it will be displayed underwater.
Its kind of a neat new concept, Brickley said. We make it so the public can walk out over the ice and see the carving under the water.
The attractions must be completed by Feb. 23. That's when teams of artists participating in the 2015 BP World Ice Art championships begin making sculptures.
The ice being harvested is crystal-clear aqua blue, Brickley said. This winter has been warmer. There's been less snow than usual. That is actually good for ice formation, he said. Snow can shield ice from cold air.
On Feb. 23, teams of artists begin making their single-block and multi-block sculptures for the competition part of the event. The events will feature artists from 16 countries.
So far, crews have harvested about 188 of the 1,000 ice blocks they need for the park. The ice is 22 inches thick. That is a good depth for ice park construction.
The clear aqua blue ice is a big attraction, though.
"Thats why these artists pay all that money to come in here and carve it, Brickley said.
Critical thinking challenge: CTC: What's so special about the ice being harvested? How is it different from ice in your refrigerator at home?