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These stunning polar vortex photos and videos show a nation frozen over

These stunning polar vortex photos and videos show a nation frozen over
A man walks along an ice-covered break wall along Lake Michigan while temperatures were hovering around minus 20 degrees and wind chills nearing minus 50 degrees on January 31, 2019 in Chicago. Businesses and schools have closed, Amtrak has suspended service into the city, more than 1,000 flights have been canceled, and mail delivery has been suspended. [Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images]

If you have been outside or at least on social media recently, you probably know that much of the American Midwest and now the East Coast are in the midst of a polar vortex, bringing record-breaking lows that have been linked to at least seven deaths. Temperatures in Chicago, for example, reached 21 degrees below zero, and that was before the windchill kicked in, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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The phenomenon has given rise to not one but two hashtags on social media (#PolarVortex2019 and Chiberia), and has turned Instagram into a weather app, with users posting the temperatures in complete shock.

It’s so cold that New York got a rare snow squall, which is basically a short-lived whiteout, Minnesota was invaded by frozen pants, Chicago’s transit workers are setting the tracks on fire to keep the trains running, and Donald Trump displayed his ignorance about the effects of global warming.

Since a polar vortex is best viewed from inside where it’s warm, here are a few photos from the blistering cold:

Murrel Swift, 48, walks from one shelter to another in downtown Madison, Wisconsin, in the early morning as temperatures reach minus 49 with wind chill on January 30, 2019. [Photo: Lauren Justice for the Washington Post via Getty Images]

And if you think the polar vortex is a sign that global warming isn’t real, allow these children to explain the concept to you:

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