4
| Bars |

Third grade teacher was totally wrong: Two snowflakes are exactly alike

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

As we anxiously wait for the winter snow, it's important to remember the building block of a blizzard -- the humble snowflake -- is not necessarily a unique individual.

Scientists now believe that of the million billion cubic feet of snow that annually falls on the planet, some might well be identical, dispelling the old rumor that no two snowflakes are exactly alike.

Japan-based cloud physicist Jon Nelson, via MSNBC:

How likely is it that two snowflakes are alike? Very likely if we define alike to mean that we would have trouble distinguishing them under a microscope and if we include the crystals that hardly develop beyond the prism stage--that is, the smallest snow crystals.

Nelson says the number of annual snowflakes is "one followed by 24 zeros," so finding two identical flakes would still prove quite the difficult task. Here's a link to more on the science behind snow.

Eric Peterson, a contributor for On the Edge, is a travel writer/skier/Colorado native/semi-pro rock and roller. Check out his website here.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.