You could count the millions of Texans who are stuck without heat or electricity. You could look at the state’s desperate struggle to keep its power grid from collapsing. You could look at the death toll, the state of emergency declaration or the speed with which Sen. Ted Cruz tried to get away to the sunnier beaches of Cancun.
Or you could look at Reni King’s fish tank in Amarillo, Texas, which turned into a solid block of ice amid the storm.
The 25-year-old mom suddenly has one of the hottest videos on TikTok after she posted a brief video of her daughter’s frozen-solid fish tank on Tuesday.
“This is what it’s like living in Texas (right now),” she wrote in the caption on the video, which has been watched more than 41 million times to date.
The video shows a standard aquarium that appears to be utterly frozen, even though the house still has power.
“Yo, look what happened to my daughter’s fish tank!” King says in the video, her voice touched with disbelief. “Literally in shock,” she adds in the caption.
King told BuzzFeed News that she moved her family into a hotel on Sunday because of the days-long storm, which caused occasional blackouts and heating problems at her house. The taps froze and while some of her rooms stayed warm, others — including her daughter’s — did not.
King says she was visiting the house to pick up some clothes on Tuesday when she noticed the frozen fish tank.
“When my daughter went into her room to gather clothes, she came out (saying), ‘Mom, you have to come see my fish tank,’” King told Insider in a separate interview.
“I was very much surprised,” she told BuzzFeed. “I never knew that that could really happen.”
King posted a followup video on Wednesday after her first TiKTok blew up. The video shows the tank at two different points in time: shortly after and long after she put a heater into it. The tank looks half-frozen at the beginning and is thawed by the end.
“You can see the fish,” she says in the second part of the video, while pointing the camera at a motionless orange molly.
She declared the fish dead in another video posted later that day.
“He’s belly up,” she says, before dipping a skimmer in to fish it out. “If you ask me, that looks dead.”
Texas remains in a major state of crisis. In addition to the mass blackouts, millions are under boil-water orders due to broken pipes, low water pressure and other infrastructure problems.
The water crisis has become so bad in some areas that firefighters have been unable to fight fires.
At least 59 deaths have been blamed on the extreme weather across the southern U.S. to date.
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