On the following day, when the first ranger patrols, their hair singed, their faces blackened by smoke, cautiously stepped over the warm ashes in the charred forest and reached the lakeshore, a horrible and amazing sight met their eyes. The lake looked like a vast sheet of white marble on which rested hundreds upon hundreds of horses’ heads. They appeared to have been chopped off cleanly with an ax. Only the heads stuck out of the crust of ice. And they were all facing the shore. The white flame of terror still burnt in their wide-open eyes. Close to the shore a tangle of wildly rearing horses rose from the prison of ice.
—the infamous horses-frozen-in-a-lake scene from Curzio Malaparte’s novel, Kaputt.
This week, Radiolab posted a short feature on the probability of this exact event happening—and they made a video of a tiny (plastic) horse freezing to boot!
(Malaparte’s novel The Skin is also available as an NYRB Classic.)