Hair ice

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In the winter of 2011 I spotted what I thought was an interesting fungus or mold. I brought part of it inside to research and was amazed to have it melt! After some research, discovered it was “hair frost” - an interesting phenomenon of water coming out of rotting wood due to capillary action, as the water is super-cooled (water below the freezing point)  it immediately freezes and adds to the hairs from the base.

Subsequently I have learned that this form of ice is called Haareis or Hair Ice, in German and English. That name is most appropriate describing the hair-like nature of those fine needles.


Hair ice appears in Scientific Journals as early as 1884.  The intersting thing to me is that it seems to be only the Pacific Northwest part of North America and western Europe. (See: "Ice Formations on Dead Wood -- Haareis or Hair Ice" )

Othe names:  Hair Ice, Hair Frost, NOT Hoar Frost or Hoarfrost......