2003 April 3

Freak of nature

In my freezer, there's an ice cube that grew a stalagmite, like a reverse icicle. I don't know what else to call it -- I've never seen anything like it. I just froze a new tray of ice cubes last night, and one of them has now grown an inch-long spike, canted over 10-15 degrees from the vertical so the tip isn't even above the base. It looks like someone pulled a piece of taffy until it broke, except this is ice.

It's too weird. I can only guess that when it froze, there was only a tiny hole left in the surface, and the interior water got pumped out as the freezing ice expanded. But how it produced a spike an inch tall? I can't imagine this is a repeatable experiment.

I need a digital camera, dammit.

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