Scientists in the Antarctic have been treated to a rare and dazzling sight – a phenomenon that freezes water into ice scales.
Known as “dragon-skin ice”, it forms when intense wind – called katabatic wind – buffets water around, even as it freezes.
The wind is so powerful it picks up the surface ice as it is freezing to expose the water underneath. That also freezes, which creates the layered, scale-like pattern.
It was the first time dragon ice had been spotted in Antarctica in 10 years.
“Dragon-skin ice is very rare and bizarre. It’s not been seen in Antarctica since 2007,” University of Tasmania researcher Guy Williams said.