Conspiracy theorists are claiming the snow in Texas is fake after an Arctic cold snap caused temperatures to plummet.
Residents in the state experienced 30-year lows of -18°C (0°F) last week, with one person from Houston telling UNILAD they had ‘never in 20 years seen snow remain on the ground for days like this’.
It was so cold that fountains, pools and even ceiling fans froze, but the sight of snow in the typically warm state proved a little too unbelievable for some people – so much so that some have declared it to be fake.
Check out one person’s claims below:
A number of social media users have made the claims, with videos on Facebook, TikTok and Twitter showing Texas residents attempting to melt the snow with lighters and questioning why it burned and supposedly remained intact.
In one video, a man puts a pan full of snow into the oven before claiming that none of it melted in the heat.
After having previously been blamed for the blackouts, President Joe Biden became the centre of the conspiracy yet again as one video sees a woman blaming the seemingly indestructible snow on the government and Bill Gates.
In a post on Facebook cited by Indy 100, conspiracy theorist Scott L. Biddle blamed the storm on Biden and his ‘Dark Winter statement’, adding that the snow was ‘warfare, an attack on Texas by altering the jet stream, seeding the clouds, and ultimately causing the storm that blacked out over 4 million people’.
Needless to say, the post was flagged as false by Facebook.
While the videos of snow refusing to melt have raised some questions, they can be explained by a process called ‘sublimation’, according to Mike Stone, a meteorologist for WTVR News, as per USA Today.
When you heat something like this, it goes from a solid to a gas. It’s called sublimation. This is actually disappearing by going into vapor.
Dr. Tandy Grubbs, professor and chair of the department of chemistry and biochemistry at Stetson University, further explained the videos in a statement to USA Today, noting the ‘demonstrator did not hold the lighter under the snowball long enough to melt enough of the snow to potentially see water formation (and dripping)’.
As for why the snow turned black, Grubbs said:
The formation of black on the snow when the lighter is held under it is due to the incomplete combustion and formation of soot when the lighter fuel is burning.
Soot would ordinarily not be visible when a lighter is burning in open air, but the snowball in this case is acting like a filter, catching and accumulating the black soot particles, which show up quite visibly on the white snow after a few seconds of exposure.
While using fake snow for some sort of political gain might be a good Hunger Games plotline, it does not apply to the situation in Texas. Conspiracy theorists might wish otherwise, but the snow there is, quite simply, snow.