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February 2019

Selected from: One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve With Science!

 

Freeze Fall

It was late winter, and the temperature had just fallen after several mild days. To make the walk home from school even colder, it had rained earlier and a chilly mist still hung in the air. 

Tom and Evan glanced up at the flashing clock in front of the bank. It said "32° F, 0° C." They stopped in a candy store for a snack and to warm up before they continued on their way home. 

Their shoes splashed through puddles as they headed toward the railroad bridge. The bridge, several hundred yards long, crossed the river far below and had a narrow sidewalk next to train tracks. It could get scary crossing the bridge when a train was on it, but the only way to avoid it was to take a different route that added ten minutes to the walk. 

"I think we should go the long way," Evan said. "The bridge is probably icy." 

"We haven't seen any ice. These sidewalks are just wet," Tom said. 

A few moments later they were on the bridge. Tom's foot slipped on a patch of ice and he fell. 

"I told you so," Evan said, teasing him. 

"How did you know there would be ice here when there isn't ice anywhere else?" Tom asked as Evan helped him up.