The icicle whisperer

Icicle grown in lab conditions

Professor Stephen Morris of the University of Toronto calls himself the ‘icicle whisperer’. He set out to understand why icicles form like they do, growing hundreds of icicles in controlled lab conditions. The end result? The Icicle Atlas — a giant online repository of 237,000 pictures, time-lapse videos and icicle-growing data. Morris hasn’t unlocked all the icicle’s secrets yet, but he’s worked out that the characteristic ripples that are formed are the result of impurities in the water; but the ripples don’t vary depending on the type or amount of impurities.