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rare hair ice

The Scottish Highlands is known for its picturesque scenery and stunning views as well as its abundant wildlife. This is often what draws many visitors to the area each year, with many exploring on foot, by car or by boat – a method that is seeing increasing popularity. Many visitors are opting for a river cruise that encompasses the Highlands to witness the real beauty of the landscape.

With many magnificent sights, you will be amazed at some of the scenery to be found in this part of the UK. However, one woman who lives in the region managed to see a sight that not many do – a rare form of ice formation known as ‘hair ice’. It has been observed in the woods behind her home, which came as both a shock and pleasant surprise as she did not expect to see this in her area at the time it occurred.

Favourite Weather Find

Lisa Lethan from Nairn in the Scottish Highlands was lucky enough to find the extremely rare ‘hair ice’ in woodland near her home. She explained, “We had a sharp drop in temperature (on Sunday), and you often find it when you don’t see any other frost about. It’s one of my favourite weather finds.”

Unusual to Find

Hair ice, commonly known as frost beard or ice wool, is a rare type of ice that forms on dead wood and closely resembles the shape of fine hair. It is unusual to find, though, and according to a study presented by scientists at the University of Bern in Switzerland, its beautiful silky hair-like appearance is caused by a fungus called exidiopsis effusa. This fungus enables the ice to take the shape of thin hairs with a diameter of just 0.01 mm in most recorded cases; it can keep this shape for hours in temperatures that are close to freezing.

This ice typically appears on wood that already has fungus present. The temperature must be below freezing, and there has to be a large volume of water around it and humid air for the ice to form.

Fantastic Scottish Highlands Cruises

With so much to see already in the Scottish Highlands, the potential to spot hair ice is just another reason to visit. If the idea of a river cruise is appealing to you, whether you’ve already experienced the Highlands or not, you will certainly be in for a treat. At Clyde Cruises, we ensure that all our river cruises are educational and fun for all the family. Adults can sit back and relax with a glass of bubbly while the children can try to spot Scotland’s ‘big five’ animals; the otter, golden eagle, red squirrel, harbour seal, and red deer.

If you are interested in an adventure on one of our Scottish Highlands cruises, then contact us here at Clyde Cruises today. We guarantee that you will have an enjoyable trip. For further information, do not hesitate to give us a call.


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