What if your playground was made of ice?
Workers are building an ice playground in a city in Alaska, including a pirate ship slide made from 65 refrigerator-sized blocks of ice, and even mazes.
The work began at the George Horner Ice Park in Fairbanks ahead of the annual world ice sculpture championships, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.
A giant ice lens also is planned, according to ice championships chairman Dick Brickley. It will be 12 feet in diameter and 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, and one small telescope in the past started a fire on a piece of plywood, Brickley said.
Another new attraction this year is an experimental sculpture that will be carved on land, then 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 the time the park opens Feb. 23. That's when teams of artists participating in the 2015 BP World Ice Art championships begin making sculptures.
The ice being harvested this year is crystal-clear aqua blue, Brickley said. This winter has been warmer and there's been less snow than usual, which is actually good for ice formation, he said. Snow can shield ice from cold air.
A new piece of ice art that's scheduled to go up will feature a sculpture of Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott.
On Feb. 23, teams of artists begin making their single-block and multi-block sculptures for the competition part of the event. The competitive single-block and multi-block ice carving events will feature artists from 16 countries.
So far this year crews have harvested about 188 of the 1,000 ice blocks they needed for the park. The ice is 22 inches thick, which 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?