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A snowman arrives at... the beach.

When
12:30pm
11.25.13

Where
Cardiff-by-the-Sea

It was a quintessentially sunny San Diego day just before Thanksgiving (as snowstorms pounded the rest of the country) when photographer Robert Benson set out for a beach jog in North County. But it wasn’t long before he turned around and raced back to his car to grab his camera. He had to capture what he had just stumbled upon. “I saw this huge snowman. Well, really, a sandman. He was 8 feet tall, and I immediately thought of the pyramids in Egypt and wondered how they made it so perfectly,” says Benson. “It was unexpected and just cute.” Inspired by the professional shooter in their midst, passersby and tourists frolicking in bathing suits took their own iPhone moments, ripe for Instagram. The best part? Its seaweed mohawk. “I grew up in Minnesota, and I never take for granted these kind of San Diego days when the rest of the country is freezing, and we’re basking in the sun with a sandman.”