Is this the most Pacific Northwest ice spike nature has ever created?
It's a coincidence for the ages. Or maybe Mother Nature had some inspiration...
With the freezing temperatures this week, it's made for some gorgeous natural ice formations, but perhaps none as unique as this frozen ice spike from Thursday morning.
Eric Allan snapped the photo above of the spike coming out of a small frozen pool of water outside his home in Arlington:
"The most PNW ice spike I've ever seen," Allan said. "Looks like a glass banana slug."
The spikes are caused when the surface of the water freezes first, sealing in the water below. As freezing temperatures continue, and that not-yet frozen water trapped below begins to freeze, it expands, creating higher pressure under the ice lid.
Eventually, the pressure will either cause a small crack or opening in the ice where water will start to dribble out -- sort of like squeezing a tube of toothpaste.
However, as that water squeezes out to the surface, it freezes too, creating a small bump of ice on the surface. The pattern repeats and the "bump" grows taller and taller until all the water under the main sheet of ice has frozen. And what you have left is called an ice spike.
However, sometimes depending on how the ice cracks, you can get more intricate designs. Sure this looks like a slug, but check out this version from nearly a year ago to the day of a "bird" ice spike, ironically, atop a frozen bird bath -- also in Arlington.
Perhaps Arlington is the ice spike capital of western Washington?