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Friday, 13 December 2013

Natural phenomena: Snow donuts

You know how when you were a kid, and it snowed outside, the first thing you did was roll up a nice big snowball? You either threw it at somebody’s face or made a snowman with it (depending on what type of kid you were), but that’s not the important part of the memory right now. The important thing—the fantastic thing—is that nature has its own way of rolling snowballs: snow donuts. These rare shapes are formed—under perfect temperature conditions only—when a mass of snow either falls or is blown by the wind. If it manages to catch on to some other snow, and gravity or the wind is in its favor, then the new snowball will roll itself in the exact same way we all used to. In this case, though, the middles tend to collapse to create a donut shape, which can end up as tall as 26 inches (66 centimeters)

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