Jul 25, 2015

Picture of the Day: This is Hair Ice

hair ice fungus christian matzler

Photograph by Christian Mätzler

 

You may have never seen or heard of it, but hair ice—a type of ice that has the shape of fine, silky hairs and resembles white candy floss—is remarkable. It grows on the rotten branches of certain trees when the weather conditions are just right, usually during humid winter nights when the air temperature drops slightly below 0°C.

Now, a team of scientists in Germany and Switzerland have identified the missing ingredient that gives hair ice its peculiar shape: the fungus Exidiopsis effusa. The research was published on 22 July in Biogeosciences, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

For more information on hair ice and how it occurs see the official European Geosciences Union press release here and the read the full paper here.

 

 

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