This is Why Snowflakes are Always Flat

The frozen water molecules always take a 2D shape despite being able to grow in 3D directions.

Snowflakes are all unique. But considering they are crystals growing in 3D space, it should be that they can grow in any direction.

So how come they are always flat, i.e. always 2D? "It all comes down to how ice crystals form on the molecular level," explains SciShow's host on this special snowflake-dedicated video.

It turns out that snowflakes decide on their shape according to temperature. Different temperatures result in different shapes.

They can form columns and even narrow needles. But the most common one is a flat hexagonal plate. This shape is a direct consequence of the molecular structure of water.

Water molecules have a bent geometry and a polar design where the oxygen is slightly positive and the hydrogens are negative. Why does this create flat snowflakes? 

We won't tell you that. It is much more interesting to watch the video and get the well-illustrated well-explained SciShow demonstration

Follow Us on

Stay on top of the latest engineering news

Just enter your email and we’ll take care of the rest:

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.