Photographer captures surreal ‘hair ice’ phenomenon in Olympic National Park

Nature photographer captures stunning time-lapse video of "hair ice" formation on dead alder branch in Washington's Hoh Rainforest.

Photographer Mathew Nichols documented the surreal formation of “hair ice” in the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park, Washington.

“Hair Ice is caused by a fungus that lives within the decaying wood, and this fungus ‘breathes’ or releases its spores through the night, pushing the moisture harnessed within the wood out of the wood’s pores, causing it to immediately freeze with contact of the below freezing temperatures,” Nichols explained.

He captured a time-lapse video of the phenomenon, which required the right weather conditions and several attempts to get right. Nichols said he will always have a special place in his heart for this unique phenomenon.