It snowed in the Sahara. Yes, it's gorgeous. No, it doesn't mean climate change is fake.

If the deserts miss the rain, they must REALLY be missing the snow. Until now, anyway.

The Sahara Desert, the largest hot desert in the world (Antartica and the Arctic are technically deserts too), doesn't get a lot of precipitation.

It's hot, it's dry, and it's vast; covering over 3 million square miles of land in northern Africa.


When it comes to rain, the Sahara only gets between half an inch and four inches of rain per year (that's not a lot!).

But snow, in the desert? That's unheard of ... right?

An amateur photographer just happened to be on hand to catch an honest-to-God snowfall in the Sahara Desert on Dec. 19, 2016.

All photos by Karim Bouchetata/Rex Features via AP Images.

The snow fell in a town called Ain Sefra in Algeria, much to the shock of its residents.

It's actually not the first time this region of the Sahara has been dusted with white powder. Snowfall hit the area all the way back in 1979.

There are also reports of light dustings elsewhere across the Sahara in 2005 and 2012.

Outside of these bizarre occurrences, there's no clear record of major snow having ever hit the area before.

(Though some high-altitude Sahara mountain ranges have been known to get snow, powder in the lower regions is extremely rare.)

The photographer, Karim Bouchetata, said on Facebook that the snow stayed for about a day but quickly melted away.

That leaves these incredible photographs as some of the only remaining evidence of an event that may not occur again for a decade or more. If ever.

Snow in the desert is a beautiful coincidence. A rare moment where dozens of weather factors come together perfectly.

What it isn't — just in case the thought crossed your mind — is any sort of proof that we shouldn't be worried about global warming.

"A cold day in the Sahara does not disprove global warming any more than a heat wave in December proves it," says Steven Stoll, a professor who teaches climate history at Fordham University. "No event stands alone."

It's getting hotter everywhere, Stoll says, and sometimes when that heat gets pushed around and distributed, it can lead to cooling in certain places. That may be the case in the Sahara.

But even if this once-a-decade-or-so event is ultimately completely random and meaningless, it sure is beautiful. And we're lucky a photographer was there to capture the mesmerizing results.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Wil Wheaton speaking to an audience at 2019 Wondercon.

In an era of debates over cancel culture and increased accountability for people with horrendous views and behaviors, the question of art vs. artist is a tricky one. When you find out an actor whose work you enjoy is blatantly racist and anti-semitic in real life, does that realization ruin every movie they've been a part of? What about an author who has expressed harmful opinions about a marginalized group? What about a smart, witty comedian who turns out to be a serial sexual assaulter? Where do you draw the line between a creator and their creation?

As someone with his feet in both worlds, actor Wil Wheaton weighed in on that question and offered a refreshingly reasonable perspective.

A reader who goes by @avinlander asked Wheaton on Tumblr:

"Question: I have more of an opinion question for you. When fans of things hear about misconduct happening on sets/behind-the-scenes are they allowed to still enjoy the thing? Or should it be boycotted completely? Example: I've been a major fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I was a teenager and it was currently airing. I really nerded out on it and when I lost my Dad at age 16 'The Body' episode had me in such cathartic tears. Now we know about Joss Whedon. I haven't rewatched a single episode since his behavior came to light. As a fan, do I respectfully have to just box that away? Is it disrespectful of the actors that went through it to knowingly keep watching?"

And Wheaton offered this response, which he shared on Facebook:

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."