14th March 2022 matt mudie
Close up photo of snowflake

Photo by Egor Kamelev from Pexels

A snowflake has many many tiny branches, making it one of the smallest fractals in nature. It is made of ice growing in lots of tiny repeating branches.

Fractals are fascinating shapes that move in patterns that repeat as they get smaller and smaller. But whilst every snowflake has lots of repeating patterns, no two snowflakes are completely alike.

Fun Fact! Snowflakes are formed in the clouds as water vapour freezes into ice particles. By definition snowflakes are therefore sleet, not frozen raindrops.

There are 35 different types of snowflake, but the variation in the temperature and dampness of the cloud means that snowflakes form unique fractal patterns; so no two are ever alike.

Snowflakes formed in very cold temperatures tend to be very simple, and those formed close to 0 degrees celsius are much more complicated.

Fun Fact! The largest snowflake ever recorded was 40cm wide and 20cm thick!

Did you know that every snowflake is a hexagon? Every snowflake has six-fold symmetry, and it’s fun to make your own by folding square paper into six.

snowflake made of paper

Many facts for this article were taken from the #factsite: https://www.thefactsite.com/facts-about-snowflakes/