SUMMARY: Nicknamed jewelry ice, a rare kind of winter sea ice on the northern island of Hokkaido has captivated locals and attracted thousands of photographers.These massive pieces of ice are scattered across the Tokachi River and are commonly referred to as gems because they “shine like diamonds beneath evening moon beams and glow like amber under a setting sun.” These “gems” only appear in Japan during the coldest winter months and are unlike any other river ice in the world.
According to the locals, when the temperature drops to minus 10 degrees Celsius, ice from the river pours into the ocean and is washed upon the shore by the waves.
ANALYSIS: “I had never heard of this type of ice and have never seen any sea ice like it,” said ocean physicist Peter Wadhams. The reason behind his statement is that the ice in Japan is unlike any other river ice around the world; River ice is normally not that transparent, having air bubbles that formed inside the ice upon freezing.
Photographers and researchers have decided that the best time to see jewelry ice is in January or February, and the time of day depends on what colors you want to see; As the sun rises and sets, the ice appears orange, while during the day it’s blue.
TAKEAWAY: After clicking the New York Times science section, my eye was immediately drawn to the beautiful cover photo of jewelry ice. I found this article to be particularly interesting because it was something I have never seen before!! In the future, I definitely want to find out more about how the river ice is formed and maybe visit it one day.