A brinicle is essentially an underwater icicle or ice stalactite.  Their growth and formation has been observed for the first time as part of the new BBC series Frozen Planet.  This link reveals how this was captured on film.  Here is the amazing timelapse footage of the formation of a brinicle:

For information on brinicle formation and structure read this BBC article and wikipedia entry.  A mathematical treatment of their formation can be found in this academic paper:

Martin, Seelye (1974). “Ice stalactites: comparison of a laminar flow theory with experiment”Journal of Fluid Mechanics 63 (1): 51-79. doi:10.1017/S0022112074001017

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I caught two things in the media today that are germane to topics discussed in this blog so I shall share them:

Firstly, a short debate, between an Oxford chemistry Professor Peter Atkins and philosopher Mary Midgley.  Peter Atkins who has released a new book (On Being: A Scientist’s Exploration of the Great Questions of Existence), In my opinion, makes the most ridiculous claims, such as “Every real question, like, where did the universe come from, where is it going, and how is it getting there – there is nothing of that nature that science cannot illuminate,”.  Mary Midgley rightly questions such imperialistic attitudes as unintelligible.  Catch the audio recording and BBC news article from this link.

Secondly, an opinion piece from The Times Higher Education with a Scientist claiming true fulfilment is achievable only through the humanities.  Here’s an interesting quote:

“If Einstein had not written down E=mc2, another scientist would one day have done so, he claimed, but no one else could have written Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.”

Read the short article in full here.