No, the recent cold snap hasn't frozen Niagara Falls to a standstill. But it is quite pretty, as evidenced by the above photos from George Kourounis. The extreme weather enthusiast and Fellow of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society recently travelled to the icy waterfall to investigate claims that Niagara Falls had frozen over. He returned underwhelmed.

While the American side of the falls had about 60 per cent ice cover, he explained that it was merely a top layer that was actually insulating the running water beneath it.

“There were lots of people coming up to us and saying: ‘I thought it was supposed to be frozen.’”

In fact as far as we know, Niagara Falls has never frozen solid (though there was one time in March of 1848 when an ice dam stopped the water’s flow for about 30 hours.)

“People like the idea of Niagara Falls freezing over,” Kourounis says. “It’s like some kind of yardstick of how cold it is. It makes for a good headline, and it makes for good elevator conversations.”

But he adds that the Niagara River is huge, and flows fast. It would take otherworldly temperatures for it to freeze completely, he says.

“If the Niagara Falls froze over the way people think it is you wouldn’t be able to go there to look at it. We’re talking Pluto cold.”

Click the photo below to see a slideshow: