Man appears to be floating above lake in viral photograph

Andy Poineau of northern Michigan has been blown away that a photo of him standing on a frozen lake has gone viral.
Andy Poineau of northern Michigan has been blown away that a photo of him standing on a frozen lake has gone viral. Martha Sulfridge

Until now there was only one person we would associate with walking on water. Need a hint? He had 12 disciples.

Now, there’s Andy Poineau.

The Michigan man appears to be floating above a frozen Michigan lake in a photograph that has gone viral.

On Jan. 15, with the temperature at zero and no wind stirring the cold air, Poineau walked out onto Lake Charlevoix in northern Michigan with a shovel to test the thickness of the clear-as-glass ice, he told Fox 2 Detroit.

“I have seen this many times over the last 50 years, maybe five or six,” the Boyne City man told the TV station. “I’m sure there has been many more but not many are crazy enough to get out and check it out.”

He told the Petoskey News-Review he and Martha Sulfridge, who took the viral photo, threw a big rock onto the ice before they walked onto the iced-over lake.

Sulfridge posted this photo to her Facebook page:

“It's hard to tell how thick it is by looking at it. I first threw a big rock on it and it didn't do anything,” Poineau told the newspaper.

“But it was creepy because I didn't want to walk out there too far. It was a little scary. That's why I had the shovel with me, I was using it to make sure the ice was OK.”

So there he stood on the frozen lake - on ice about two-and-a-half inches thick above five feet of water - and posed for a photo that has caught the attention of the science community.

And National Geographic came calling. shot the image around the world on Jan. 19 by posting the photo on its Facebook page, declaring Lake Charlevoix “the clearest frozen water you will ever see.”

The photo has been shared more than 70,000 times from the Physics-Astronomy Facebook page alone, where it has elicited more than 2,000 comments, some from people who think the photo is fake.

Social media site Reddit found the photo, too, and placed it on its high-profile front page.

“It’s gotten so many views, I just never knew how fast something could go like this,” Poineau told the Petoskey newspaper.

Some of the comments have made him laugh.

Wrote one Reddit user: “Come on guys... Just let Jesus have his vacation in peace.”