What a cool word!

For a few short minutes I patted myself on the back, smiled smugly to myself and thought about how clever I was making up a new word.

But damn you again Google for being a know-all. Someone beat me to it! Apparently Wilson Alwyn ‘Snowflake’ Bentley described himself as a snowflakeologist (what a coincidence since ‘Snowflake’ was his middle name!!).

His claim to fame was being one of the very first people to photograph a snowflake with a compound microscope. He photographed his first snowflake on January 15, 1885 and then went on to capture over 5,000 snowflake images in his lifetime.

Although he doesn’t call himself a snowflakeologist, physics professor Kenneth G. Libbrecht picked up where Wilson Bentley left off and has an incredible collection of snowflake images on his website (

He also has more information on snowflakes than I thought was possible. I now know that all snowflakes have six sides. “But why is that so?” I hear you ask.

For the scientifically inclined, it’s because water molecules (H20 – being two hydrogen and one oxygen) naturally form a six sided lattice structure when frozen. The temperature, humidity and other factors determine the exact shape. If you want the  super scientific explanation, check out his website.

I hope you are as captivated by these images as I am. All images are by Kenneth G. Libbrecht (


(I was going to call myself a blogologist, but you guessed it – that word is already taken)

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5 Responses to Snowflakeology

  1. Felicity Maher says:

    You keep me entertained!

    Hope you are all well. Scott playing in ANU All Stars team tomorrow. Wisey, I am surprised you didn’t fly back for that one!


  2. Tracy Wiseman says:

    I honestly thought it was a bit mythical that snowflakes actually looked like that. You learn something new every day.

  3. diana2450 says:

    This is so fun! You definitely seem qualified to be a snowflakeologist, even if not the first. That would look pretty great on a resume!

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