Rare ‘hair ice’ formation found near Dunkeld

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These stunning photos show the cotton candy-like formation of ‘hair ice’ captured by an eagled-eye walker.

Wilma Stark, 62, was on holiday in Dunkled, Perth and Kinross when she caught a glimpse of the strange-looking phenomenon.

Ice crystals cover a dead branch on the floor of a woodland in Dunkeld, Scotland. Picture: SWNS

Ice crystals cover a dead branch on the floor of a woodland in Dunkeld, Scotland. Picture: SWNS

She was walking through the woods when she came across the tiny, silky hair-like ice, which usually forms in dead wood.

Wilma from Glenrothes, Fife, said: “I was absolutely stunned, it looked just like candy floss.

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Ice crystals cover a dead branch on the floor of a woodland in Dunkeld, Scotland. Picture: SWNS

Ice crystals cover a dead branch on the floor of a woodland in Dunkeld, Scotland. Picture: SWNS

“I knew it was ice, but it was curling over parts of the tree branched.

“I have never seen anything like it before. It was dotted all around the woods.

“It had been snowing the day before and then the snow had melted and it was a cold but dry day.”

When it rains, logs are the perfect material for soaking up moisture and making hair ice.

An extremely rare phenomana called 'Hair Ice' has been spotted near Dunkled. Picture: SWNS

An extremely rare phenomana called 'Hair Ice' has been spotted near Dunkled. Picture: SWNS

Their rotting, spongy interiors fill up with water and when the water freezes, it expands out from the pores in the frozen wood, creating fine threads of ice.

Scientists say the presence of fungi in the wood also helps push the ice through those little pores.

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Wilma Stark discovered the bizarre sight which  forms on moist, rotting wood from broadleaf trees when temperatures are slightly under 0 �C and the air is humid. Picture: SWNS

Wilma Stark discovered the bizarre sight which forms on moist, rotting wood from broadleaf trees when temperatures are slightly under 0 �C and the air is humid. Picture: SWNS

Ice crystals cover a dead branch on the floor of a woodland in Dunkeld, Scotland - an extremely rare phenomana called 'Hair Ice'. Picture: SWNS

Ice crystals cover a dead branch on the floor of a woodland in Dunkeld, Scotland - an extremely rare phenomana called 'Hair Ice'. Picture: SWNS