Ice worms are native to Southeast and Central Alaska and were first discovered in the 1800s. The tenacious animals actually burrow themselves into the glacial ice and thrive at temperatures as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Founded in winter 1961 to raise spirits in the dark of winter, the annual Cordova Iceworm Festival is now a week-long celebration that draws visitors from across the globe.
This year’s festival, themed “Out of this World,” will be held Jan. 26-Feb. 2. Popular festival events include the Iceworm Parade, crowning of Miss Iceworm, survival suit race and a paper airplane contest.