Nunavut photographer captures perfectly timed images of tea tossed in frigid temperatures


A recent photo of a Nunavut man throwing hot tea into the air is grabbing people’s attention around the world.

The photo, which looks like a circular stream of icicles surrounding the sunset, resulted from local resident Markus Siivola throwing hot tea backwards into the air. Naturally, Nunavut’s minus 40 degree C weather turned the tea into a cold cloud of ice and snow.

Photographer Michael H. Davies, who lives in the northern community of Pangnirtung, Nunavut, admits the idea wasn’t his—he saw a similar photo elsewhere and decided he could top it. And he planned every bit of the shoot to ensure that he did.

“I went throughout the science of it,” he told CBC News. “I figured, ‘OK, I need 40 below, I need calm winds, I need the sunset in the background so it lights up my fog when I film it.

Pangnirtung is only a few kilometres south of the Arctic Circle, which makes the shot even more impressive. With only a couple of hours of daylight, it was a race against time to catch the setting sun, since Davis and Siivola had to travel about 45 minutes out of town by snowmobile.

“We thought, if this doesn’t work, at least we can have a tea, because, as everybody knows, in Nunavut we go to great lengths to have tea somewhere strange, whether it’s in front of an iceberg, or on top of a mountain or in the middle of the tundra.”

According to the online community at least, he got the shot.

Davies, who is a trained painter, photographer, and glass blower, has lived in Nunavut for 10 years, but he originally hails from Pontypool, Ontario.