From time to time, a long spur of ice grows on one “cube” of my ice cube tray.

It’s quite slender, about 3mm or 1/8 inch at the base tapering to about 1mm at the tip, but it’s about 30mm or over 1 inch long!

Ice spur

The angle of the spur seems to always be the same - about 45 degrees.

What going on here? It seems to defy gravity!

Probably relevant: I seems to happen when the ice tray is placed near the chilled air outlet of the freezer.

Plain tap water.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Check here: physics.stackexchange.com/q/70974. They form on lakes as well. $\endgroup$ – Ed V Dec 16 '20 at 2:28
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    $\begingroup$ Wiki article as well: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_spike. Loved the bit about the guy hiking across frozen Lake Erie! $\endgroup$ – Ed V Dec 16 '20 at 2:32
  • $\begingroup$ It does not defy gravity for sure. It is not the ice that protrudes out the tray, but more water freezing on it from around/above. It is a region of higher potential, like in snow flakes or in lightning rod. For that region to begin, then refer to thread linked in the comment above. $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Dec 17 '20 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ Is the angle of the spur such that the chilled air blows it in that direction, or is the spur growing into the chilled air source? $\endgroup$ – James Gaidis Dec 17 '20 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ @james the spur is angled towards the cold air flow, more or less pointing straight at it in 3D space. $\endgroup$ – Bohemian Dec 17 '20 at 19:41

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