Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fantastic Mr Frost: How an icy night turned a car bonnet into a work of art

Sometimes nature's palette is richer than that of any artist, as these beautiful and surreal images show.

These delicate fronds and whorls are not decorative etchings, nor have they anything to do with vegetation, despite their biological appearance.

The car roof in Oxfordshire displays an almost snake-like pattern

while this one is covered in fronds of ferns

The sun begins to rise and soon the jungle of leaf designs will disappear. The frost has formed because metal becomes colder quicker than anything else around it.

Ice crystals form in tiny imperfections in the paintwork

and their shape is governed by the structure of the water molecules they're made of

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