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“Hair Ice” – Ghostly Ice On Trees Of Northern Hemisphere

From The Children's Post of India


Hair Ice Image credits: Twitter of Kenny Allen


Recently, a group of hikers going through a forest spotted white wisps of fluffy frost blooming from tree branches like cotton candy. This mysterious wisp disappeared with a single touch. This is not witchcraft, but rather a strange winter phenomenon named as “hair ice”. It got this name because it is made up of fine 0.2 mm strands of ice crystals that look like hair that grow in freezing temperatures.


Hair ice can be found on moist, rotting wood in many countries in the Northern Hemisphere like Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Ireland, the USA, and Canada.


Scientists have found that a fungus named Exidiopsis effusa is responsible for the trees’ frosty beards. The fungi prevent the strands of ice from recrystallizing because of antifreeze proteins found in them.





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