An icicle’s rippling effect

Canadian physicists have answered the mystery behind how ripples are formed on the surface of icicles, which remarkably have the same wavelength regardless of size or where in the world it grows.

Sixty-seven icicles were analysed by growing them under controlled conditions in a refrigerated box. Their test showed that the size of the ripples grew quicker and were much larger when there were more salt impurities contained in water.

This study was mostly performed due to the curiosity of patterns in nature, but it could add to a deeper understanding of the formation of icicles and their real-world applications, specifically in engineering.

Read more at University of Toronto