Letter | Published:

An Unusual Ice Formation

Nature volume 127, page 340 (07 March 1931) | Download Citation



ON the morning of Saturday, Jan. 31, after a frosty night, we discovered in the bird-bath on the lawn a remarkable ice structure. The bath is a circular metal basin, 10 in. in diameter at the rim, with a concave base admitting of a maximum depth of 2 in. of water in the centre. There was a solid mass of ice of not less than 1 in. and not more than 1¼ in. maximum thickness, with a level (though not smooth) surface 8 in. in diameter. From the centre of this rose a pillar of ice, in the form of a triangular prism, 2¼ in. high, tapering slightly downwards and fiat-topped. The plan was a nearly rightangled (very slightly obtuse-angled) triangle, the two shorter sides measuring 1¼ in. and ¾ in. respectively: the hypotenuse was slightly curved and irregular, not convenient for measurement. When warm water was poured into the bath, the ice melted in contact with the sides, and the whole could easily be lifted out in one mass, the pillar being used as a handle. Certain appearances suggested that the pillar might be hollow, but I did not break it across, so that must remain doubtful. The combined block of ice was placed in a shaded place and, though melting slowly, retained its strange appearance through the whole of the day.

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  1. Arngrove, Amersham, Bucks, Feb. 10.



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