Thursday, November 24, 2011

Icicle of Death: Rare Underwater Brine Icicle Destroys Everything In Its Path

"Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore..."

A rare and bizarre underwater natural phenomenon has been caught on film for the first time and it has scientists and marine biologists alike fascinated.

Resembling an undersea frozen tornado, the brinicle (brine icicle) forms rapidly near the surface of the ocean and quickly sinks to the bottom of the sea floor, as the brine is denser than the surrounding sea water. It begins to form a vortex as it sinks, destroying or killing anything and everything that the icy tendrils come in contact with as it advances toward the sea bottom. When it hits the surface, a web of ice spreads killing sea urchins, starfish and other smaller marine creatures.

The incredible footage of the undersea apocalypse was captured by a BBC film crew off the coast of Antarctica while filming for the upcoming documentary program The Frozen Planet. Although the existence of the mysterious formations have been known for several decades, this is the first time one has been filmed as it began taking shape.

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