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.
All photos sourced from Hokkaido Lab.