Ice Flowers of the Arctic Sea

These Ice Flowers of the Arctic Sea floating over a thinly frozen sea. They are very rich in salt and bacteria, and very hard to observe and pick.    Image credit: Matthias Wietz.

Oceanography doctoral candidate Jeff Bowman said:

“Although frost flowers are very abundant in the Arctic and Antarctic getting to them isn’t easy.  The ice underneath them is often too thin to walk across and prone to drifting with the wind.  The basic sampling strategy is to find a place where the water is kept open by winds or currents.”

Ice Flowers of the Arctic Sea Frost flowers made in the lab.    Image credit: Jeff Bowman.

According to Deep Sea News, these delicate Ice Flowers can only form under very special conditions.

“-Calm winds. We can’t have these beauties blown away can we?

-Cold, cold air. It has to be about 20C less than the water and since seawater freezes around -2C, that means the air must be about -22C or -7.6F.”

via gizmodo

sources Deep Sea NewsJeff Bowman