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How Did This Ice Spike Happen?

Thursday 17th January 2013

Patch called LBC 97.3's Mystery Hour with a fascinating question: How did this happen?

Ice spike

James O'Brien had never heard of this phenomenon, but was then inundated with other examples of these ice spikes.

Lil sent us this one:

ice spikes 2

This is the explanation of why it happens:
Water expands when it freezes. If there is already a thin sheet surface ice over the body of water, further freezing can force water out and upwards through a crack or weak point in the sheet. This can produce a tube-like structure where water emerges at the tip, progressively lengthening the tube.