Frost Flower Garden

April 14, 2014

Iceflowers (1)

Photographer: Fabio Del Sordo; Fabio's Web site
Summary Authors: Fabio Del Sordo; Jim Foster
This magic on ice is sometimes called a frost flower garden -- not to be confused with frost flower. When the sea rapidly freezes, as it did here in the Stockholm Archipelago, impurities may give birth to these amazing and delicate structures. The flowers are actually hoar frost crystals. They've been observed to form when supercooled water droplets come in contact with objects at temperatures well below freezing. Like real flowers, they don't grow everywhere; just the right substrate is required. When exposed to sunlight, they quickly sublimate. Photo taken in the early afternoon of January 19, 2013 -- the temperature was about 5 F (-16 C).