If you’re on the eastern side of the United States, you probably heard about the “bomb cyclone” that happened last week. Things got so cold that the Shallotte River Swamp Park in North Carolina posted a video of frozen alligators that got people talking. Probably because it’s rare to see something that’s both intriguing yet terrifying.
But have no fear — the alligators in question are okay. In fact, Shallotte River Swamp Park ended up documented a pretty standard practice for alligators that assures their survival in frosty temperatures. After someone asked on Facebook whether or not they were actually frozen, the swamp responded that “their bodies are suspended in the water and noses out for breathing. They are brumating, kind of like hibernating.” They also noted that in doing this, alligators regulate their body temperature. By keeping the tips of their nose out and having the water freeze over them, they’re making sure they’re still able to breathe. The move is just another instinctual way of staying alive, proving that alligators are incredibly smart creatures.