Frosty Feats: 12 Incredible Snow Sculptures

Going way beyond two lumps of coal and an old silk hat, some folks take the art of snow sculpting to an astonishing level. Here are some of the most spectacular winter wonders from around the world.

  1. Larger Than Life


    China’s “City of Ice”—otherwise known as the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival—is home to some truly amazing snow and ice creations. Pictured at the 29th annual event, which was held this past winter, is “Romantic Feelings,” the largest ice sculpture ever made.

  2. No Two Are Alike


    Delicately poised in a gentle grip, this snowflake is actually vastly larger-than-life—a contradiction that makes the entire scene seem surreal.

  3. Still Life on Ice

    2596a47d9fd64c4e072bba849da3159f via Lois Bravo

    Although these snowy trees are life-size, the incredible detail and serene setting make them seem as if they've been rendered in miniature. This sculpture was a finalist in the 2009 St. Paul Winter Carnival, and the artist is back for another go-round in January 2014.

  4. Snowy Sasquatch


    It’s hard to deny a Bigfoot sighting when he’s been erected in packed, frozen snow. Or, as some say, this menacing statue may just be Old Man Winter letting us know summer isn’t coming anytime soon.

  5. Marvelous Marvel


    This snowy Spider-Man is in position for his next webbed wonder at a snow festival in Taebaek, South Korea.

  6. From Russia With Love



    During the Vasaloppet China Ski Festival, snow is transformed into some of the most iconic buildings in Europe. This Russian-style Orthodox Church is just one of the amazing structures erected at this event, now in its tenth year.

  7. Homage to Picasso


    Catalonia-Spain’s team took second place with this piece of (very) modern art in the 2013 International Snow Sculpture Championships at Breckenridge. Named “Banyista Nua” (Nude Sunbather), this Picasso-style sculpture channels irony with its warm subject matter in such a chilly environment.

  8. At Home in the Snow


    A highlight of the 2010 Sapporo Snow Festival, "Northern Zoo" brought to life a snow leopard as well as a small menagerie of other endangered animals.

  9. You Better Watch Out


    Another Harbin masterpiece, this big Santa is sure to know what you’ve been up to. A team of expert carvers working on the finishing touches give perspective to the massive size of this jolly old elf.

  10. House of Cards


    The odds may be stacked, but this structure seems pretty flush amongst the many visitors enjoying the Quebec City Winter Carnival.

  11. Got Anything to Eat?


    Raymond Boyd Photography

    This familiar fridge-raiding scene was created for Snow Days Chicago 2013, held at the Windy City’s Gateway Park last January. Sculptors from around the world started with a collective total of 8,000 cubic feet of snow from which to design their masterpieces.

  12. 1,000 Melting Men


    Because the difference between snow and ice is actually only the difference between frozen vapor and frozen water, we thought we could sneak in an ice sculpture. One thousand of them, actually: Brazilian artist Néle Azevedo installed 1,000 seated ice men on the steps of Berlin’s concert hall to illustrate the effects of climate change.

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