Arctic Ice Flowers

These jagged, crystalline 'flowers' form on thin layers of new ice in the Arctic Ocean, and only under conditions of extremely low winds and temperatures under -7° F. Deposits take shape on the surface of sea ice when water vapor skips the liquid phase and becomes solid. The formations have a high salt content — three to five times that of sea water, according to estimates by experts. The salt accumulates from brine that is wicked up from the ocean through the ice surface on which they grow.

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