There is a type of flowers that you can see only when winter comes and the water in the lakes and seas freezes. These flowers consist of ice, salt and chemicals and they are not that rare. They usually appear on the surface of the water, on the thin new ice. You can spot frost flowers on lakes, seas and even oceans in the Arctic and Antarctic.
The frost flowers are not only beautiful but also scientifically interesting because of the amount of salt and bacteria they have in them. In fact, the frost flowers are three times as salty as ocean water. And the number of bacteria living in the flowers can reach from one to two million, which is very impressive since it's a very harsh and stressful environment for them to live in. Essentially, every one of these flowers is a separate ecosystem.
Scientists are studying the frost flowers. These spiky little structures give the opportunity to learn how life can survive in such unfriendly conditions.
If you happen to visit Haukilahti between November and February, you will more likely run into this natural phenomenon.
When is the optimal time to witness frost flowers in Haukilahti?
The ideal season to view frost flowers is from November to February, when lakes and seas freeze. To increase the chances of seeing the natural event in Haukilahti, visit during this timeframe. Show more
What other locations besides Haukilahti can frost flowers be observed?
Frost flowers are visible on lake, sea, and ocean surfaces in the Arctic and Antarctic regions during winter. These natural wonders have also been spotted in locations such as Norway, Sweden, and Greenland. However, their formation may not always be optimal, as frost flowers prefer freezing conditions on thin ice. Show more
How do frost flowers form and what chemical compounds do they contain?
Frost flowers are formed by a process known as exhalation, whereby water vapor is released as the cold air freezes the surface of the water. The vapor then freezes on top of the ice, which forms intricate, spiky 'flowers'. Frost flowers are chemical-rich, containing high levels of salt, bromine, chlorine, iodine, and nitrogen oxides. Show more
What is the significance of the high amounts of salt found in frost flowers?
Frost flowers have a unique ecosystem thanks to their high salt concentration. This saltiness creates a hospitable environment for microorganisms such as bacteria to exist in areas of the Arctic and Antarctic which would otherwise prove inhospitable. The occurrence of these flowers posses exciting opportunities for scientific research such as in the fields of medical research and pharmacology since frost flowers demonstrate how life can adapt to extreme environments. Show more
How are frost flowers being studied by scientists to learn about life's capabilities in harsh environments?
Scientists are studying frost flowers to explore how life survives in such harsh conditions. They are looking at the microorganisms that exist within these flowers' unique ecosystem and researching the compounds that give them life such as salt and bacteria. This research could present useful discoveries with possible applications in medical research and pharmacology. Every new revelation about frost flowers brings increased understanding of how life thrives under difficult conditions. Show more