Ice is such a familiar substance that you might think science has it all figured out. But researchers are still learning some pretty weird things about plain old frozen water.
For instance, did you know it’s possible to make hair-thin strands of ice that bend? Or that some icicles freeze not into sharp spikes but curved bulbs like ballet slippers? Strangely, electric charge can change the temperature at which ice freezes. And tiny needles of ice even naturally sculpt stripes and swirls into pebbled landscapes.
Knowing how ice behaves could help scientists better understand our watery world. And it could lead to insights about other ice-glazed places in the solar system. It could also lead to better deicing materials to keep people safe in wintry conditions — or even, someday, weather control.
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