10:38 GMT +320 November 2019
Listen Live
    Brinicle

    WATCH Stunning Footage, PHOTOS of Underwater 'Ice Finger of Death'

    CC BY 2.0 / Katexic Clippings Newsletter / Brinicle
    World
    Get short URL
    0 70
    Subscribe

    The fascinating natural phenomenon was first discovered in the middle of the 20th century, but properly documented only in 2011. The process of the "ice stalactites'" formation has long remained a mystery to scientists.

    The captivating footage of brinicles forming under thick layers of ice was first shown to the public in the BBC series Frozen Planet eight years ago. Although the existence of the phenomenon, also known as "ice finger of death", had been known since it was first described by oceanographer Seelye Martin in 1962, the first footage made was only decades later.

    READ MORE: Lake Michigan Freezes Into Field of Thousand Shards, Stuns Viewers (PHOTOS)

    Brinicle is essentially an "ice stalactite" growing from the ice covering the ocean down to its bottom. The process of its formation starts when the ice-cold and relatively non-saline water from the ice cover mixes with salty ocean water. The resulting "stalactite" is hollow within allowing more cold and less salty water from the bottom to run through the canal inside the brinicle.

    READ MORE: Murmansk Region: Captivating Sights of Russia's Northern Reaches

    Some of them can reach the bottom of the ocean if it's not too deep and if there are no currents in the region. That is when they turn into real "fingers of death" — their growth doesn't stop at that moment and the ice starts spreading across the ocean bottom, freezing everything on its way, including living beings residing on the ocean floor, such as starfish. The terrifying process can be clearly seen on a video, published on Instagram.

    Related:

    Murmansk Region: Captivating Sights of Russia's Northern Reaches
    The Wondrous and Captivating Sights of Lake Baikal
    Most Beautiful Places: The International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2018
    Lake Michigan Freezes Into Field of Thousand Shards, Stuns Viewers (PHOTOS)
    Tags:
    Beyond Politics, beauty, video, photo, ice, natural phenomenon, ocean, world
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik