OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. – The cold snap may be over in North Carolina but have you ever wondered how alligators breathe when ponds and lakes are frozen over?

You don’t have to wonder any longer thanks to the people at the Shallotte River Swamp Park in Brunswick County.

In a blog post and YouTube video, staffers explained that alligators can live in water as cold as 40 degrees.

When the water or air temperature is too low they go into a state of “brumation,” which means their metabolism slows down so much that the gators go into a lethargic state.

During that time, the alligators will stay at the bottom of the body of water.

If they need to breathe, the gators will slowly surface and poke their nostrils out of the water like can be seen in the video.