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Snow Queen & SCIENCE!

Today I want to discuss some of the science that went into Rakel’s Snow Queen powers. Obviously her abilities are fantasy, but I tried to use real-life science as a basis for pieces of it. My two greatest examples are displayed in the fight for Ostfold.

The first is when Rakel created an iceberg. The process she goes through of flushing out the air and compacting and squeezing the ice crystals together is the actual process glaciers go through when forming. Each new layer of snowfall compacts the old layers so they re-crystalize, then expand–which flushes out the air. (You can read more about this process at the National Snow & Ice Data Center) This process normally takes decades to centuries, but you can experience a small-scale version of an iceberg compacting anywhere that has snowfall and cold temperatures. Snow will fall and, depending on the weather, will then re-freeze, which gives you that crust of icy snow to walk on.

Here in Wisconsin we had a pretty good snowfall at the end of December/beginning of January. After about four days of cold temperatures and icy winds, the snow re-froze so both Perfect Dog and I can walk on the top of it without the use of snowshoes. (Fun extra fact: when Rakel freezes the snow beneath her so she can walk on top of it, she is merely doing what the weather would do, given enough time.)

My second example is the trap Liv and Rakel set up to capture Farrin. Believe it or not, but turning purified water almost instantly into ice is a scientific phenomena called supercooling. I exaggerated its effects for the sake of the story, but you too can turn a bottle of purified water into crinkly ice, just like Rakel. The YouTube video below does a great job explaining, but the readers digest version is that purified water lacks impurities–like minerals–that would start the chain reaction of turning water into ice.

Pretty neat, eh? If you want to see footage of supercooled water turning into ice, check out this YouTube video!

I had so much fun learning about ice and water while writing the Snow Queen books, and it was sooo much fun to know that Rakel was going to beat Farrin with SCIENCE, not just her powers. Thank you for reading, Champions, I hope you find this as fascinating as I did. Enjoy the short story!

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