Monday, November 28, 2011

Sharpened Hooks: The Brinicle Ice-Finger of Death


As noted in the comments (and in this article), this forms in very specific conditions.  Temperatures have to be just right so that a column of air pushes down brine and ice crystals.  The ice crystals follow the salt, creating a corridor that freezes as the salt falls downward.

Of course, magic makes the impossible possible, so it's not unlikely to find this sort of creeping, icy doom in the weird corners of the world.


  1. I can't see the video, but I assume you've been watching Frozen Planet?
    I didn't know about brinicles and it really was creepy. I especially like the haze in the water that is the only warning you get. We tend to think of water as uniform, just like air, so that is a nasty surprise.
    If something like that came at me on land, I would run like hell. In water, I would probably do my best emperor penguin imitation to get on land as quickly as possible. Which would at least make me look hilarious while I die.

  2. I actually haven't seen Frozen Planet. Nicole informed me of this phenomenon.

    And I agree with you. A roiling stream of haze and ice would probably shut off my higher brain functions, and my death would be hilarious.

  3. Frozen Planet is awesome, watch it if you can get your hands on it. The sequence where the Orca whales work together to make waves that wash seals from ice floes alone is worth it. Predators that work together this closely and on such a high level of organisation are terrifying.


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