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No. 104: Mar-Apr 1996

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We swore that we were not going to pass along any more "weird" icicle observations -- and there are many of them--but this one is the weirdest of the weird.

The scene is a Norwich, England, garden, wherein one night a plastic saucer full of tap water was placed. The night was clear, cold, and windless. In the morning, T. Bushnell found protruding from the saucer a "strange tubelike structure" about 3 inches long. His color photograph cannot be conveniently reproduced here, but it clearly shows his icicle growing upward at about a 45 angle. Bushnell wrote further:

"What may not be apparent from the picture is that the tube is triangular in cross section and it is completely hollow down as far as the unfrozen water lying underneath the thick layer of ice. The fairly robust tube was an integral part of the underlying ice pool. We noticed that the outside of the tube was segmented in appearance, as though the ice had built up layer by layer."

(Bushnell, T.; "Ice Surprise," New Scientist, inside back cover, October 7, 1995)

Comment. The other "weird" icicles we have reported were all solid and roughly hexagonal prisms. (SF#79, SF#100, SF#102)

From Science Frontiers #104, MAR-APR 1996. 1996-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987