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Cracks on the surface

The recent freeze and thaw of the canal beside where I live has produced a beautiful natural phenomenon.  Cracks in the surface ice reminiscent of neurons with pronounced dendrites have appeared in random locations.  Stars in the night sky also spring to mind:

Neurons

Dendrites

2 Responses to “Cracks on the surface”

  1. on 07 Feb 2011 at 08:56David Jones

    A very well observed photo, thanks!

    The inner part looks a bit like it might have been made by a grain of road grit falling onto the ice and melting it. Can’t really explain the dendritoid polynas though.

    Pretty.

  2. on 11 Feb 2011 at 19:33safe

    @drj Many thanks! That sounds like a plausible part-explanation. And thank you for the word “dentritoid” which I feel is vastly underused in the English language. In fact a google for this word today brings up this article as the top hit! Safe.