Snow Science: Snowflakes Are Drawn Wrong

304516207_e37d9a277cNo two snowflakes are a like, that much is true, but here’s an interesting piece of trivia:  Those cute little cut-out snowflakes you and your kids might make in the wintertime?  They aren’t scientifically accurate.

That’s according to Thomas Koop of Bielefeld University in Germany who, after noticing an 8-sided snowflake on an advertisement for Nature, set the record straight.  From Tonic:

Koop reminds us that owing to the molecular structure of water, when the temperature drops and the substance changes from liquid to solid state of matter, a set geometric pattern will be revealed. The crystalline structure that will form and grow as the minuscule ice crystal develops into a snowflake will always be hexagonal.

Try explaining that to your five-year-old.

While he’s on the subject, Koop would also like us all to know that raindrops are not tear-shaped when they fall, despite being depicted that way in picture books and drawings.  Rather, they are spherical.

Next he’s going to tell us that the sun doesn’t really have a smiley face:


I don’t know if sharing these facts with your kids while they draw will impress them or annoy them, but if you’ve got a kid whose interested in what real (and accurate!) snowflakes look like, check out this gallery from LiveScience.

Photo: trec_lit, Flickr

Photo: Jameskids’art, Flickr

Article Posted 6 years Ago
share this article
facebook twitter tumblr pinterest
See Comments
what do you think?
share this article
facebook twitter tumblr pinterest
See Comments
what do you think?
what do you think?
close comments
Subscribe to the
Welcome to
Sign Out
Follow us on