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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