Just when you thought you knew of everything it was possible to be afraid of, along comes the BBC’s Naturalist department to add something else to the list. A crew filming at Little Razorback Island, near Antarctica’s Ross Archipelago, witnessed this strange phenomenon beneath the ice sheet. Apparently called a ‘Brincile’, it is caused by a sinking stream of brine, which is denser than the rest of the sea water. As it sinks, the brine hits the warmer water and freezes, creating this ‘ice tornado finger of death’ thing.
“When we were exploring around that island we came across an area where there had been three or four [brinicles] previously and there was one actually happening. It was a bit of a race against time because no-one really knew how fast they formed,”
Cameraman Hugh Miller told BBC Nature
As the film crew set up their time-lapse cameras in the icy depths, the Brinicle continued to grow. It took a few hours, but eventually it hit the ocean floor, where it spread outward, ensnaring nearby starfish and other sea life. Interesting stuff, I think you’ll agree. I fear however, that this will only give fuel to Hollywood idiots looking for the next disaster movie concept. I can see it now, ice tornadoes stretching across the ocean, ensnaring ships and plunging out of the Hudson and wrapping around the Empire State Building.