ice spike

Strange phallic ice protrusion that grew on an ice cube in my freezer.­

After some research, I discovered that it is a known physics phenomenon called "Ice Spike".­

An ice spike is an upward-facing icicle that sometimes forms naturally as a body of water freezes.­

Freezing causes water to expand, so it can force water out and upwards through a small hole in an already frozen surface sheet.­ This can produce a tube-like structure where water emerges at the tip, progressively lengthening the tube.­ Tube formation stops when the tip freezes and seals (from Wikipedia).­

Ice Spikes happen more often with very pure water.­ San Francisco tap water is known to be very good quality.­

View a more detailed explanation by Kenneth G.­ Libbrecht, Professor of Physics at Caltech and Chairman of the Physics Department.­

And another page on ice spikes from the Dept.­ of Physics of University of Toronto.­

close-up ice cube ice formation ice spike ice tray iced water icicle macro physics protrusion

Photos that are currently not in any other album.­