Candle ice at 12k feet.

OURAY, Colorado – Professional skier Owen Leeper found some pretty bizarre ice formations high in the mountains of Colorado, sharing a video of these shards to his Instagram and asking the public for help on what they might be.

Based on the comments, this formation is called “candle ice”, a form of ‘rotten ice’ that occurs as ice is melting. Solar energy causes a solid ice sheet on a body of water to melt, creating vertical channels that develop into elongated, fragile ice columns.

Important note, candle ice can be very dangerous if someone falls in. Due to the lack of horizontal structure through the formations, there isn’t anything to pull oneself out of the water with. So if you see the ice in the wild, observe safely, but don’t jump or fall in.

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