Saturday, June 21, 2008

Frozen Wave Myth

These massive ice-blue wave formations can be found scattered over Antarctica. Popular belief states that these are created by waves of water instantly freezing as they come in contact with the frigid air of the region. This is untrue. In reality they are typically formed by compacted ice which uplifts due to glaciation. The shape is then altered by the elements. For example, the downward spikes that make the wave appear as if it's crashing down are due to melting - essentially they are icicles.

The photograph above, and the other below, were taken in 2002 by Tony Travouillon at the Antarctic Base of Dumont D'Urville. To dispel another myth, these do not occur on Lake Huron. In March of 2008 these same images were found all over the internet accompanied by text claiming that the waves were found on Michigan's Lake.

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