Thousands of crystalline blossoms bloomed on Valdai Lake in northwestern Russia on Tuesday. Such ice flowers are a very rare sight. Majestic!

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Thousands of rare ‘ice flowers’ bloom on Russian lake. Picture by Timofey Shutov

Conditions need to be perfect for such a rare phenomenon to take place: while the lake’s waters are still warm enough to flow, a sudden cold snap creates ice near the surface. 

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Water lapping over the top of the ice cools sharply and freezes to form the crystalline petals, and the process repeats, in some cases forming ‘flowers’ that are several centimetres high. Picture by Timofey Shutov

The phenomenon was caused by a sudden temperature drop.

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Conditions need to be perfect for such a rare phenomenon to take place: while the lake’s waters are still warm enough to flow, a sudden cold snap creates ice near the surface. Picture by Timofey Shutov

The phenomenon was short-lived, however, as increased wind, a rise in temperatures and heavy snowfall conspired to quickly obliterate the frost-bitten blossoms from the landscape almost as quickly as they had appeared.

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The rare frozen lake bloom phenomenon was short-lived. Picture by Timofey Shutov

Desert blooms and now frozen lake blooms! Nature is awesome!

[Timofey Shutov]

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