"Frost Flowers" Form an Ethereal Meadow of Ice Crystals Around Japan's Lake Akan

When the weather dips below -15C (5F), a beautiful natural phenomenon can occur, producing a fractal flourish of ice known as “frost flowers.” These delicate blooms are made entirely of ice crystals that grow in patches around three to four centimeters in diameter. They are specific to thin lake ice in calm weather conditions, and they form in a branching, tree-like pattern that mimics a rose or petal. When present, the frost flowers transform the landscape into an ethereal wonderland.

The ice blooms seen here are located in Hokkaido, Japan on Lake Akan. Its conditions are just right for these crystalline structures to exist–a mountain blocks the wind so the scenery is peaceful. When looking at the meadow of frost flowers, you might feel the same tranquility needed for them to thrive.

via [Lustik, Hokkaido Lab]

All photos sourced from Hokkaido Lab.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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