Snow white’s mother was so impressed by the beauty of the snow that she named her daughter after it, but you don’t necessarily have to be a Disney character to do so in real life, I mean, there is no denying the fact that snow is one of the most beautiful natural phenomena that we see around us. From its mesmerizing snowflakes to the magical snowfall, everything involving these frozen water droplets is breathtaking.
However, can you imagine this beauty a bit further, yeah, I mean it, Hair Ice, is a phenomenon that is occurring in winter to give our trees an enchanted look! No, there is no magic involved but the scientists spy a fungus responsible for it. Hair Ice is basically ice but it looks like hair, I mean, duh, it’s in the name but it looks like something you have never seen before. They are mostly found in forests during the winter season in countries like the United States, Canada, Ireland, Sweden, Russia, and Germany. This cotton look-alike ice grows on rotting wood at an altitude between 45 and 55 degrees north of the equator.
Despite the look being extremely magical, the process is more of a scientific one, obviously! The fungus responsible for the formation of Hair Ice was found on every sample that was collected, proteins similar to antifreeze were theorized to be responsible for the process. The look as told above, of this Hair Ice, is mostly curly and white hair-like, is what I would like to describe in simple language. When it comes to being more specific, according to the observation, every hair of this weird ice is 0.02 in diameter and can be up to 20cm in length, yeah, it’s long, I wonder if it can be used to make some fake Santa beard, right? Yeah okay, that was lame, anyways, they can stay like that for a long time, sometimes as long as a few days! More of undying ice, is it? No, it simply means that some weird mechanism is preventing it from re-crystallize! At least, that has been claimed as of yet! Many things are still not clear but a 2015 study on this weird and magical phenomenon is calling the responsible fungus as Exidiopsis effusa, the study further claims that the fungus is somehow not allowing the ice hair to crystallize into a lump, however, it too is just an assumption as of yet.
Point is, you can absolutely take the feeling of roaming around in some enchanted forest where the trees happen to have something unexplainable hanging around their branches, and for that, you can visit any of those above countries, I mean, obviously, you also have to look for a specific kind of altitude, temperature and that science kind of stuff, in winter, but I’m sure the view will be worth it, until you don’t get lost in the forest, obviously!
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