For most people, this cold winter is reason to complain and huddle inside for warmth. But students at Michigan Technological University, where the temperature is often in the single digits, instead see an opportunity to spend hours outside making enormous and elaborate snow sculptures.
At the Houghton, Mich. university's annual Winter Carnival last week, students toiled away for the annual month-long and overnight snow sculpture competition. They they were tasked with recreating favorite kid's movies for the theme, "Nostalgic Films from Childhood Days Come to Life in Frosty Ways," and groups worked on scenes from "The Lion King," "The Land Before Time," "Toy Story" and other favorites.
The Phi Kappa Tau fraternity won the frat division for their snowy version of life in "Beauty and the Beast," which took 20 team members working 200 to 300 hours each over the last few weeks.
Creating the sculptures is no small feat. Besides braving the cold, sculptors have special snow techniques and use scaffolding, shovels and even clothes irons to create their pieces, according to the Mining Gazette.
There's plenty of free material, though -- the school has recorded over 12 feet of snow since the season began.
Sculptures must be handmade, and can't exceed 28 feet in height. They're judged on artistry, intricacy, neatness, whiteness of snow and lettering, according to UpperMichigansSource.com. The site notes that it was so cold this month that students were prohibited from working on their sculptures on five different days when temps dipped below zero.
It might seem like a crazy way to spend a month, but not according to president of the Blue Key Honor Society Jack Lubinski. The group organizes the winter carnival each year.
"Our university celebrates the snow," Lubinski told Accuweather.com. "It really exemplifies what it means to be part of the community as a student and local as well."
Take a look below to see some of the incredible snow sculptures, and get ready to feel a little nostalgic for the Disney classics.