Thursday, December 13, 2012

Frost Flowers

This photo was taken by University of Washington graduate student Jeff Bowman. He and his professor Jody Beming are studying this strange phenomenon where frost grows in flower-like clusters from imperfections on the ice surface at sub-zero temperatures of -7 degrees fahrenheit. These structures house a huge amount of microorganisms, more than what is below the frozen surface. Each flower is like a temporary ecosystem, very much like a coral reef.

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