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Home* News and Stories → Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com Easter brainteaser: the mystery solved

Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com Easter brainteaser: the mystery solved

The Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com Easter brainteaser – what does the photo at the bottom show? – has got a lot of nice replies. A selection of answers (my own translation of those that were sent in German):

  • Close-up of Humpback whale skin
  • Close-up of Walrus skin in black & white
  • Ice surface. It looks like something has ground it (like the surface at a curling court (Sweden become world champs yesterday!)). So that has to be my guess. Not a curling court, but a ice covered surface that been grounded in some way. Maybe from dog sledge skids?
  • Ice structures
  • Is it frozen water from below with trapped air bubbles?
  • A warm item (e.g. a warm kettle) put on frozen water.
  • An aerial photo of frozen mud flats at low tide.
  • I thought frozen water at first, but I don’t think that’s right.
  • Not polished concrete?
  • Iced-over stromatolithes that got a glaciological haircut
  • Negative imprint of a fossil fern
  • think it is water over some frozen soil or something….
    actually i have no clue even after staring for 30 minutes at the picture!
    in any case: it is beautiful! 🙂
  • A true conch in shallow water?
  • Maybe a shoe sole
  • A rather rare iron structure on a geode (or part of it)
  • Profile of a snow mobile belt
  • Close-up of ice structure
  • A dog in a river bed / ice surface

A number of interesting and surprisingly varied answers! It seems to have been more difficult than I had thought, and this shows how much camera and lens may help to see things that otherwise are hidden or that we see, if at all, in a different way. All those who have seen glacier ice have had this phenomenon near them (but not necessarily seen it and paid attention to it).

This is how the picture was taken:

What is this? Glacier ice!

Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com Easter brainteaser: What is this? Glacier ice!

A macro photo of glacier ice in an ice cave in a glacier, with tripod and macro lens, to make smallest details visible. The brainteaser photo shows very small air bubbles in glacier ice. The individual bubbles and channels are smaller than 1 mm. The area shown on the photo is, in reality, an estimated 4×6 mm large, or rather: small. This network of air bubbles was oriented in a plain parallel to the very clear ice surface, about 2-3 cm deep in the ice, which altogether made it possible to photograph it. Please don’t ask me how exactly this pattern of air channels comes into existence, I don’t know. Please tell me if you know.

The first price for “Close-up of ice structure” goes to Stephanie in Scotland! Stephanie, the choice is yours!

The second price goes to Leipzig and the third one to Sweden. Congratulations to all winners and a big thanks to all who sent their answers! It was fun, and that was the whole purpose of it.

What is this? Very small bubbles and channels of air trapped in glacier ice

Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com Easter brainteaser

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last modification: 2015-04-10 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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