World Facts

Did You Know The Largest Snowflake Ever Recorded Was 15 Inches Wide?

In 1887, a 15-inch wide snowflake fell on the Fort Keogh Army Post in Montana that is still considered the largest ever.


The Giant Snowflake which was said to be the largest ever seen was witnessed by the Army personnel who were posted at Fort Keogh, which was a post in the United States of America located on the western side of the then-Territory of Montana, two years before Montana was admitted to the Union as the 41st U.S. State. Here, the most important news appeared after the people saw the largest snowflake ever amidst a snowstorm which was falling upon the fort named after U.S. Army Captain Keogh who died while fighting for that same post. The snow storm which was being witnessed by the soldiers saw some 15-inch wide snowflakes fall, and it is said that snowflakes of their breadth and thickness were being witnessed for the first time in human history.

When and where was it witnessed?

Many soldiers who were reportedly posted at Keogh Fort saw the falling of these large snowflakes in the area on the 28th of January in the year 1887. The event was actually some 129 years ago from the present day. These snowflakes were said to be considerably larger in size and thickness from the usual snowflakes seen in the area, which were generally never wider than 3 inches in size. According to scientific theories, these Giant snowflakes can in fact be formed easily. In any case, if during a snowfall these flakes have some water base stored in them, then many separate snowflakes can stick together to form one big snowflake, and the same may happen if strong winds are blowing and forcing them together. Even many stories followed after the falling of the largest snowflake in which many flakes were reported to be as big as Frisbee Flying Saucers.

Coverage in News Media

The news reports of that time reported this sight as the "Giant Snowflake", and had been reported throughout the United States of America. It was also mentioned in the world records about the appearance of the largest of the Keogh snowflakes, which was said to be 15 inches wide, thereby 8 inches wider than any other snowflakes reported up to that time. But with this report, other important news also started pouring from different parts of the world in and around the end of the 19th Century. Many people stated to have witnessed larger flakes, comparing them to the size of a toy Flying Saucer, Frisbee, or a milk pan. It was usually told by the scientists or the historian who were doing wider research on this topic that there may have been even larger and thicker snowflakes which could have fallen, even up to 6 inches longer than those at Keogh, but these mostly go unreported due to lack of photographic evidence.

World Record

There may be many other larger snowflakes reported to have fallen during other snowstorms but, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest ever flake to enter into their record was the one reported from Fort Keogh in the U.S. state of Montana. As it was stated to be 15 inches in length and its thickness was several inches as well, it made it into the world record books, where it has remained since the year 1887. The officials did find many reports about the largest snowflakes witnessed by the people in different parts of the world, but still this Giant Keogh Snowflake still remains atop the World Records.

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