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Cleveland, Ohio

Frozen Cleveland Lighthouse

An unoccupied lighthouse encased in layers of ice from the waters of Lake Erie. 

There’s a lighthouse in Cleveland, Ohio, that is placed so close to Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes of the Midwest, that a wonderful weather phenomenon takes place.

It started during the winter of 2010, when the lighthouse was sprayed so many times with water from the lake that it froze into a giant sculpture designed and built by Mother Nature. The ice has built up layer by layer, completely encasing the lighthouse in ice and drawing visitors from all over the state.

“Days of unrelenting gale force winds which began on December 13 churned up white caps on Lake Erie,” a local broadcasting station explained in 2010. “Those monster waves crashed across the Cleveland Harbor breakwall and West Pier lighthouse.”

The ice has brought more attention to the lighthouse than it has seen in decades. Built in 1911, it has been unoccupied since 1965 when it was automated. The original Fresnel lens was donated to the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, which is within sight of the lighthouse, right across the harbor.

Curiously, over the 105 years, the lighthouse has developed a slight tilt to the right, and the tilt is visible from the shore if you look carefully.

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