Ice is, dare we say, cool. (So sorry, but we had to.) Scientifically speaking, there are a lot of places on Earth that depend on ice. Which got us thinking about how we don’t actually know much about ice other than it’s frozen water. So let’s get educated together! Here are some of the coolest facts about ice.
(image via: istock)
There are actually two different types of ice. Are we blowing your mind already? There is land ice and there is sea ice. Can you guess the difference? If you’re thinking salt, then you’re absolutely correct. Sea ice contains a whole lotta salt, while land ice is very fresh.
Dry ice isn’t made of water. If you’ve ever gone all out at Halloween and made a spooky steaming cauldron out of dry ice, then you’re fully aware that you will be yelled at to not touch the dry ice. Regardless of how old you are, we might add. Dry ice is actually made out of frozen carbon dioxide. And carbon dioxide changes from a solid to a gas at room temperature without going through a liquid state.
There is ice on Earth right now that is one million years old. That’s right, Antarctica has an extra layer of “insulation” to keep it cold, not to mention the ocean currents and wind that circle around the continent. The ice here is thick and slow-moving, so it makes sense that the bottom of this ice sheet is way old. The oldest extracted ice has been somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000 years old.
(image via: istock)
Ice paved the way for modern-day refrigeration. For years people used various methods to try and preserve meat, but by far the most effective way was to keep it chilled and during the 1800s ice harvesting, the act of harvesting ice and delivering it to households was an actual job that people had. By the late 19th century iceboxes were super common among households, which eventually led to modern-day electric refrigerators.
Icebergs and glaciers aren’t just white. As snow accumulates on top of an iceberg, the air bubbles in the snow get compressed and more light begins to penetrate the ice. Longer color wavelengths, warm colors, get absorbed by the ice, while shorter color wavelengths like blue and green reflect the light. The result? Glaciers appear to be a blue-ish green-ish color rather than just white.