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29th Nov 2012

Doesn’t Get Much Cooler Than This: The Chilly Temperatures Can Throw Up Some Spectacular Surprises Too

This could just be the most amazing thing you will see today, no, this week...

We might be shivering in our boots at the moment, but we’re nowhere near the minus temperatures these majestic beauties took to form.

Don’t expect to see surfboards on these brilliant frozen outcroppings in Antartica, these rolling blue waves were snapped by French astrophysicist and part-time photographer Tony Travouillon as he travelled across the southern continent.

Although the waves appear as if they’ve been frozen as they broke from the ocean surface, they’re actually a natural phenomenon of blue ice. As outer layers of ice melt during the summer months, new layers of ice compress to form the top of waves.

These magnificent blue waves are famous in the Antartic…

Doesn’t get much cooler than this…

An amazing sight…


We know these photos probably don’t even do the sight justice…

It looks like you could do with some thermal underwear in these surroundings, but Travouillon said the temperatures were not as cold as they look.

“The temperature was actually quite pleasant since it was summer – around zero Celsius,” told Yahoo!.

“I was passing through Dumont D’urville, which is a compulsory stop on my way to Dome C, where I did some astronomical research.”

“I walked to these blue icebergs with a group made up of transitioning scientists like me and winter-overs [people who winter in the area] who knew of the location of these beauties,” Travoullion says. “It was just one of the many amazing sights that you can find on the coast of Antarctica.”

For the science lovers out there, the blue colouring of the ice comes from tiny bubbles in the ice, which diffuse the red light in colour spectrum, and leave only blue light to reflect to the human eye.