Hair ice

03 January 2017 | Posted in Nature Reserves , Eridge Rocks
Hair ice
Alice Parfitt

This unusual ice formation, known as hair ice or frost beard, was spotted by our Reserve Manager at Eridge Rocks nature reserve in the High Weald.

Hair ice crystals form on rotting wood on humid winter nights, when the temperature drops below freezing. More amazing is the fact that these candy floss-like wisps are caused by the presence of a fungus, Exidiopsis effusa, within the rotting wood. It is thought the fungi prevents the small ice crystals from recrystallizing into larger ones, maintaining the distinctive hair-like shape.

Watch a time-lapse video of hair ice forming.

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