Arty Awesomeness Featured Science & Technology TV Video Clips

Behold, the Icy Finger of Death!

Cameramen for BBC One’s seven-part nature series Frozen Planet captured an interesting phenomenon in the freezing waters at Little Razorback Island, in Antarctica. Using a rig of time-lapse equipment, the crew filmed what looks like an icy finger of death as it extended from the ice sheet and touched the sear floor, freezing everything around it.

This icicle of death is called a brinicle. Dr Mark Brandon at the Open University explains how such a brinicle is formed:

In winter, the air temperature above the sea ice can be below -20C, whereas the sea water is only about -1.9C. Heat flows from the warmer sea up to the very cold air, forming new ice from the bottom. The salt in this newly formed ice is concentrated and pushed into the brine channels. And because it is very cold and salty, it is denser than the water beneath.

The result is the brine sinks in a descending plume. But as this extremely cold brine leaves the sea ice, it freezes the relatively fresh seawater it comes in contact with. This forms a fragile tube of ice around the descending plume, which grows into what has been called a brinicle.

See a brinicle forming in this little excerpt from the Frozen Planet series.

It is the first time that the crew has managed to film a brinicle forming. You can read more about how they captured the footage on the BBC website.

[via +Paul Scott]

Arty Photoworthy

Time-Lapse in the Eyre Salt Flats

Lake Eyre in South Australia is 15 metres below sea level and is the lowest point in the country. Between the years of 2003 and 2010, photographer Murray Fredericks has visited the salt pan at Lake Eyre to camp and to take photos of the stark, featureless landscape. Have a look at some of his breathtaking photos and time-lapse video that he shot on location.

Arty Featured Inspirational Designs

Intricate Salt Labyrinths

For the past decade, incredibly patient Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto has been creating the most intricate mazes from an unlikely medium. As a tribute to the life of his sister who died of cancer in 1994, Yamamoto spends hours upon hours using a plastic squeezy bottle to create beautiful labyrinthine patterns from household salt.

In an interview with Hi-Fructose, Yamamoto explains the use of salt in his memorial artwork.

Salt seems to possess a close relation with human life beyond time and space. Moreover, especially in Japan, it is indispensable in the death culture. After my sister’s death, what I began to do in order to accept this reality was examine how death was dealt with in the present social realm. I posed several related themes for myself such as brain death or terminal medical care and picked related materials accordingly. I then came to choose salt as a material for my work. This was when I started to focus on death customs in Japan.

… Drawing a labyrinth with salt is like following a trace of my memory. Memories seem to change and vanish as time goes by. However, what I sought for was the way in which I could touch a precious moment in my memories, which cannot be attained through pictures or writings.

Have a look at his salt labyrinths after the jump.