Thursday, 10 November 2016

I Had To Look Twice When I Saw This Picture,

I thought it had been man made,

but I was wrong, the ice sculptures, some of which can be several feet tall are called penitentes and were first described in literature by Darwin in 1839, on March 22, 1835, he had to squeeze his way through snowfields covered in penitentes near the Piuquenes Pass, on the way from Santiago de Chile to the Argentinian city of Mendoza, and reported the local belief that they were formed by the strong winds of the Andes, in reality these jagged snow structures are the result of dimples in the original snow sheet, these in turn result in ever larger ablations, through a process known as sublimation, where ice and snow melts and vaporises without turning into liquid water first, this happens more easily at high altitudes due to the reduced pressure of the atmosphere, together with the lower temperatures of the air and the more powerful rays of the sun above, and there was me thinking it was a Photoshoped picture!

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