9 hilarious images of people taking the polar bear plunge

The Week

While most of us were nursing hangovers, a select (crazy) few took to frigid waters to ring in the New Year

For those of us in colder, northern climates, the time for slipping on our bathing suits and hitting the beach is still far, far away. But for those brave/crazy members of the unique sporting club of Polar Bear Swimmers, January is as good a time as any to play in the surf. This bizarrely endearing event, in which the scantily clad plunge almost joyously into frigid waters across the northern hemisphere, is often played out on January 1 as a way to start the new year fresh. Here, a look at some of the nuttier participants of this year's annual polar bear plunge, from New York to Scotland.  

View gallery

.
The first wave of several hundred swimmers rush to take the plunge in 30-degree temperatures during the 110th annual Coney Island Polar Bear Club open swim on New Year's Day. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

* *  

View gallery

.
 While some participants in the Coney Island swim wore bikinis and briefs, others donned elaborate costumes, like this gentleman who dressed up as a robot, because, well, why not? (Monika Graff/Getty Images)  

* *

View gallery

.
In Wisconsin, brave swimmers kept warm in some pretty literal outfits during the annual Polar Bear Plunge at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee. (REUTERS/Sara Stathas)

* * 

View gallery

.
In France, enthusiasts from the long-established swimming club Les Ours Blancs (The Polar Bears) celebrated with some bubbly after their annual New Year's swim in the southern coastal city of Biarritz. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)

* * 

View gallery

.
In Vancouver, a man sports a goat mask, boxing gloves, and a very skimpy leotard while running into the English Bay during the annual New Year's Day Polar Bear Swim. (REUTERS/Ben Nelms)

* *

View gallery

.
In Scotland, a group of New Year's revelers reacts in appropriate horror at the freezing conditions of the River North during the annual Loony Dook Swim on Jan. 1. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

* *  

View gallery

.
Some Scots opted to take the Polar Bear plunge in costume. This fancy trio dressed as the royal couple, Prince William and Catherine, happily embracing their rather overgrown baby-to-be. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

* * 

View gallery

.
In Berlin, swimmers also took to the frigid waters in costume. This man dressed as a chimney sweep — traditionally honored as New Year's talismans in Germany — while plunging waist-deep in Oranke Lake on Jan. 1. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

SEE ALSO: 6 holiday gifts for those who have everything

View this article on TheWeek.com Get 4 Free Issues of The Week

Other stories from this section:

Like on Facebook - Follow on Twitter - Sign-up for Daily Newsletter
View Comments