These Ice Formations Are Far More Impressive Than Cubes

Penitentes—named for the people in the Spanish Procession of Penance who wear pointy hoods—are found in the Dry Andes, and form when the sun's heat sublimates segments of snow or ice. Hair ice requires a certain species of fungus to achieve its wispy shape. Frost flowers are of particular interest to scientists because they contain unusually high numbers of bacteria, despite being extremely salty (and frozen!).

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Brincles are caused by water freezing around sinking brine. 00:21

  2. The volcanic Mt. Erebus is home to unique ice formations formed by steam. 00:49

  3. Icicles form in sub-zero temperatures as the sun warms the surrounding ice. 01:24

Written by Curiosity Staff November 5, 2015

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