10 Interesting And Surprising Facts About Snow

1. In Austria, there is a park called Grüner See, or Green Lake, which changes into a lake every summer.

This intriguing phenomenon can be seen in the city of Tragoess, Austria. With the annual rise and fall in temperature, the lake disappears and appears. Every winter, a thick blanket of snow falls, which starts to melt in spring and turns the park into a crystal clear emerald green lake.

2. Every year, the Japanese city of Toyama is faced with so much snowfall that the highways turn into snow tunnels.

The Japanese Hida Mountains are one of Japan’s snowiest mountains, receiving as much as 3,810 centimetres of snow each year. To put this into perspective, this is as high as the Statue of Liberty. Visitors to the city of Toyama have to cross a snow bank that can reach a height of up to 20 meters. In Toyama, around 20 to 30 centimetres of snow often falls in a single night.

Source: Flickr
Source: Flickr

3. Syracuse, New York, tried to make snow illegal.

The winter of 1991-1992 was particularly harsh in Syracuse, New York. More than 411 centimeters of snow fell in America’s most snowy city during that season, and people were anything but happy. In March 1992, the city passed a law stating that additional snow was illegal until Christmas Eve. Of course, Mother Nature didn’t care and that winter, even more snow fell than the previous year.

4. Not all snowflakes are unique.

It is a popular myth that no two snowflakes are the same. In 1988, scientist Nancy Knight carried out a study of snowflakes under the microscope. She found two identical flakes from a storm in Wisconsin.

Source: Flickr
Source: Flickr

5. Yellow snow isn’t the only snow you shouldn’t eat.

You’ve probably heard that you should never eat yellow snow. However, research has shown that all snow can be harmful, because snowflakes act as a magnet for small particles that are mainly found in car exhaust fumes.

6. The reason why it seems so quiet in the snow is because fresh snow absorbs sound waves.

Snow is in fact an accumulation of ice crystals. The characteristics of the crystal configuration influence how sound waves travel. For example, a layer of fresh snow easily absorbs sound waves, which can make it seem very quiet. When the snowy surface melts and freezes again, the snow becomes slippery and hard. In this case, the sound waves are correctly reflected, allowing them to travel long distances.

Source: Unsplash
Source: Unsplash

7. It’s transparent, not white.

Although snow may appear white, it is in fact translucent. We are able to distinguish colors because each object absorbs some wavelengths of light and reflects some. In the case of snow, no wavelengths are consistently absorbed or reflected, giving the impression that snow is white.

8. It can be 38 degrees warmer inside igloos compared to outside.

Iglos are an efficient way to stay warm in cold areas. They are completely warmed by body heat. Since fresh, compressed snow consists of 90 to 95% trapped air, it has an insulating effect. This is why bears and other animals dig themselves into the snow to hibernate.

Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay

9. Colorado holds the record for most snowfall.

In 1921, no less than 193 centimeters of snow fell in Silver Lake, Colorado, in a period of 24 hours.

10. Snowflakes always have six points.

Scientists who studied snowflakes came to the conclusion that all flakes have one thing in common, they only fit together if the ice crystals have six points.

Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay

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