Why Does a Small Icicle Occasionally Grow Out of My Ice Cube Tray?

Every once in a while, I’ll go grab some ice from the ice cube tray only to see a very small icicle-like protrusion coming from one of the cubes. Technically, stalagmite would be a better descriptor than icicle. But whatever the term… it’s weird. And I’m utterly at a loss to explain how something like this is even possible.

I haven’t figured out yet what the precise circumstances are, that cause this kind of a thing… so I haven’t tried to consistently reproduce the effect. Here’s what I do know:

This time around, I used filtered water via a Brita filter. In the past, I’ve just used tap water from the sink, but can’t recall whether this happens with both types of water. We have two trays of ice cubes in the freezer, and this icicle thing only ever happens with the tray on top. When it does happen, it is only ever one cube.

I was also a little skimpy on the water, as you can tell by the lower levels of the ice cubes nearby. Not sure if that makes a difference or not.

Has this happened to anyone else before? Does anyone know why or how something like this happens? There are a lot of complicated things in this world that I don’t understand, but up until fairly recently, I kind of thought I had ice cubes (water and a low temperature) pretty much figured out. Turns out, not so much.

// Edit: Ah, just did a cursory search, and found out about Ice Spikes. Interesting…

Custom Ice Cubes and Bottom-Up Beer
Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in Harbin, China
Christmas Eve and Ten Pounds of Dry Ice

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Has nothing to do with filtered water. I got them and it’s just water from the tap. I am using a plastic twist tray much like the one in the photo.

    MyNameIsOfNoConsequence Reply

  2. Hahaha! Yes! This has happened to me many times and I have no effing idea how. I have used tap water and I usually fill it to the top. It’s happened in two slots before as well. Something to mention. I’ve lived in Las Vegas and Colorado. Neither of which did this ever happen. I now live in Oregon and it happens alot…..more moisture in the freezer?? I have pics too. Anyhow, just happy to know I’m not alone lol

    Daniel Reply

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