“If the streams flowing through the swamp froze as ice-nine , what about the rivers and lakes the streams fed?”
“They’d freeze. But there is no such thing as ice-nine.”
“And the oceans the frozen rivers fed?”
“They’d freeze, of course,” Dr. Breed snapped. “I suppose you’re going to rush to market with a sensational story about ice-nine now. I tell you again, it does not exist!”
“And the springs feeding the frozen lakes and streams, and all the water underground feeding the springs?”
“They’d freeze, damn it!” he cried. “But if I had known that you were a member of the yellow press,” he said grandly, rising to his feet, “I wouldn’t have wasted a minute with you!”
“And the rain?”
“When it fell, it would freeze into hard little hobnails of ice-nine — and that would be the end of the world! And the end of the interview, too! Good-bye!”
Dr. Breed was mistaken about at least one thing: there was such a thing as ice-nine.
And ice-nine was on Earth.
© Kurt Vonnegut, "Cat's Cradle"