Penitentes - The Strange Snow Formations

These ice formations are common for the Andes at about 4000 meters and above. - 7 years ago by

These ice formations are common for the Andes at about 4000 meters and above. They look like a bunch of ice blades, pointing upwards towards The Sun. Or a group of religious people, with pointy hats, kneeling down. The penitentes range from several centimeters to five meters in height and can make moving very difficult. They form when sublimation (water goes from ice to vapor without turning liquid) randomly happens when sun rays touch the hardened ice. The little depressions formed this way become bigger and bigger, and the peculiar look of the ice blade fields becomes definitive.