Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Upside down icicle.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dumfries
    Posts
    956

    Default Upside down icicle.

    In cold weather, I fill a container of water for the birds. It freezes overnight, and next day I tip out the ice and refill the container. The number of unthawed ice slabs lying in the garden gives me a count of how many frost days we've had.

    This morning I found a strange spike of ice sticking almost vertically out of the ice surface. It was tricky to photograph, since the container is white, but I put a trowel on the frozen surface behind the spike, to show it better.





    If I wanted to create a spike like this, I might put a thin rod into the container, slowly drip water down it till the stalagmite formed, then withdraw the rod. But there was no sign of any foreign body in the ice spike. My garden is well fenced, and I can't imagine someone broke in just to create an ice sculpture. And there's nothing directly over the spike that could have been dripping on it. The clothes airer is at least two feet away, and the spike was in the far side of the container, and pointing away from the airer.



    So does anyone have any idea of how this formed?
    Not in Oxford any more...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Peak District
    Posts
    455

    Default

    Interesting isn't it. I've seen these and one explanation is here: https://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/.../icespikes.htm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dumfries
    Posts
    956

    Default

    Thanks for that link, Peter R. Very interesting. I didn't actually measure my spike, but it was about the length of a finger, say 3". And the water in the tray was ordinary tap water. (SW Scotland, not such soft water as you'd get in the Highlands, but less laden with limescale salts than most of England.)
    Not in Oxford any more...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Somerset
    Posts
    3,734

    Default

    Probably completely different to what you have, but I went into my garden one winters morning and found a small, but perfectly formed and smooth ice sculpture stuck to a frosty tarpaulin that was covering my patio set,
    It wasn't large, maybe 6 x 4 x 2 inches, but I could see no explanation for its arrival in my garden.
    The only possibility I could think of was that it had fallen from a plane, which is worrying if true because it would have been a killer if had hit someone on the head.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dumfries
    Posts
    956

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OLD MAN View Post
    The only possibility I could think of was that it had fallen from a plane, which is worrying if true because it would have been a killer if had hit someone on the head.
    Sounds like a lump from a plane, unlike mine which was firmly rooted in the base ice. All I get falling from above is the occasional golf ball. My garden backs on to a golf course, but the way the fairway lines up, balls have to be badly off line to land in my garden. I get about one a year. But I've never grown an ice spike before.
    Not in Oxford any more...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Moray
    Posts
    240

    Default

    H2O is an amazing material. The fact that in the solid state it is less dense than the liquid state has led to the survival of life on Earth. Otherwise it would just be a frozen ball of rock and ice.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dumfries
    Posts
    956

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Malky View Post
    H2O is an amazing material. The fact that in the solid state it is less dense than the liquid state has led to the survival of life on Earth.
    And on a slightly (!) more trivial theme, it's because ice melts under pressure that ice skates work. The skate melts the ice and glides on a film of water, which re-freezes after the skate moves on.
    Not in Oxford any more...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    22,720

    Default

    Amazing, never heard of those before Mary. Thanks for sharing.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dumfries
    Posts
    956

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    Amazing, never heard of those before Mary. Thanks for sharing.
    It was rather a "what the hell?" moment. I don't generally believe in ghosts or visiting aliens, but all the same I'm glad Peter R was able to supply a reasonable explanation.
    Not in Oxford any more...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dumfries
    Posts
    956

    Default

    I had another one this morning, not quite as elegant:





    I've been using this container as a bird bath for the last two or three winters, and I don't remember ever getting spiky ice before. Maybe I've just been very unobservant, or else there's something different about current conditions. (Or maybe my garden is haunted. )
    Not in Oxford any more...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    15

    Default

    That's rather an interesting find.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •