Something Weird In My Freezer - Any Scientists Out There ?

mintman2

New member
133
5.00 star(s)
This is one of the weirdest thing I've seen. It's happened before but this is the first time I've took a pic of it. These are standard plastic ice trays filled with tap water. I fill em up, stick em in the freezer, and when I open it up the next day I have these growths. The "eruption" is about an inch tall and sometimes I get 2 or 3 in one tray. I'm 46 years old and until a year ago had never seen this phenomenon. What is happening ? How ? Why ?




 

otgoal

New member
257
5.00 star(s)
From The Experimental Nonlinear Physics Group, Dept. of Physics, University of Toronto

Why do ice cubes grow spikes?
The short explanation is this: as the ice freezes fast under supercooled conditions, the surface can get covered except for a small hole. Water expands when it freezes. As freezing continues, the expanding ice under the surface forces the remaining water up through the hole and it freezes around the edge forming a hollow spike. Eventually, the whole thing freezes and the spike is left.

A slightly longer explanation: the form of the ice crystals depends on the cooling rate and hence on the degree of supercooling. Large supercooling favors sheets which rapidly cover the surface, with some sheets hanging down into the water like curtains. These crystalites tend to join at 60 degrees and leave triangular holes in the surface. Hence, spikes often have a triangular base. The sides of the spike are sometimes a continuation of pre-existing subsurface crystalites, and can extend from the surface at steep angles.
 

knightfam5

New member
1,282
5.00 star(s)
Ice cubes? Really? Finding ice cubes in your freezer does not constitute being weird. When you said weird I was expecting to see the frozen head of Walt Disney or something. Really disappointing :D
-Keith
 

dragonslayer913

Active member
5,196
5.00 star(s)
You know what is funny i have those kind of ice trays and it happens all the time-I was kinda of wondering myself what was going on-Then i thought maybe there male and get excited.
 

mintman2

New member
133
5.00 star(s)
From The Experimental Nonlinear Physics Group, Dept. of Physics, University of Toronto

Why do ice cubes grow spikes?
The short explanation is this: as the ice freezes fast under supercooled conditions, the surface can get covered except for a small hole. Water expands when it freezes. As freezing continues, the expanding ice under the surface forces the remaining water up through the hole and it freezes around the edge forming a hollow spike. Eventually, the whole thing freezes and the spike is left.

A slightly longer explanation: the form of the ice crystals depends on the cooling rate and hence on the degree of supercooling. Large supercooling favors sheets which rapidly cover the surface, with some sheets hanging down into the water like curtains. These crystalites tend to join at 60 degrees and leave triangular holes in the surface. Hence, spikes often have a triangular base. The sides of the spike are sometimes a continuation of pre-existing subsurface crystalites, and can extend from the surface at steep angles.

Supercooled ? I wasn't aware my 10 year old generic refrigerator/freezer was capable of that.

any chance there is something dripping water in to the ice tray?

Nope, not a chance. Not unless after bedtime my dog is sneaking in there just to screw with me.

Ice cubes? Really? Finding ice cubes in your freezer does not constitute being weird. When you said weird I was expecting to see the frozen head of Walt Disney or something. Really disappointing :D
-Keith

Next time I lop off someone's head you'll be the first you'll be the first one I email :D

Yeah, I personally wanted to see some old, moldy, mysterious blob in a ziploc bag. Well, maybe next time. :D

That's not weird at all. That's sop for the fridge.
 
Top