The Mystery of the Ice Cube Stalagmite

About fifteen minutes ago (Sunday night) I took an ice cube tray out of my freezer and was amazed to see a spike jutting up from one of the cubes. Now that’s something I’ve never encountered before. It looked as though something plopped into the tray and the splort of water instantly froze on the way up.

That’s completely illogical of course, because water just doesn’t freeze that fast. Not in my freezer anyway. There are those extreme cold locations where water will freeze on contact with the air, but it doesn’t happen in my G.E.

Anyway, certain that I am not the only person this has ever happened to, I decided to consult my very best friend online, Google. Turns out that there really is a logical, scientific answer to this riddle…

The temperature in the freezer will at first affect the surface of the water in the ice cube tray, so a thin crust of ice will form. Sometimes the crust may not form completely and a small hole, or holes, will remain open for a time, maybe caused by surface tension and a dust particle or something.

As the water continues to freeze it expands and the pressure created beneath the icy crust pushes the liquid water up through the hole. A thin column of water forms and grows until it is frozen solid. Behold, the ice cube tray stalagmite. Pretty neat huh? I thought so.

Can’t say it’s a pointedly chilling discovery, but it is a slick phenomenon nonetheless, and I’m glad I cracked the case.