The Science Of Icicles And Ice Formations

The Science Of Icicles And Ice Formations

There are icicles...and then there are brinicles, the icicle's fast-moving, terrifying cousin. Brinicles are long tubes of ice that form underwater, shooting downward as they freeze. They freeze so quickly, it can be observed in real time. Also known as "icicles of death," the brinicle can immediately trap and freeze any aquatic life that is in its way. Once the brinicle hits the sea floor, it creates a web of ice and kills slow-moving sea life like sea urchins and sea stars that may be around. Scientists have identified "black pools of death" where brinicles are or have been.

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Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Brinicles are icicles that grow so fast, they can be observed in real time. (0:00)

  • 2

    When ocean water freezes, only the water freezes and the salt and other ions are pushed out. (0:59)

  • 3

    Scientists report finding "black pools of death" where brinicles are or used to be. (2:02)

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