You know the old saying that “no two snowflakes are alike“? Well it may be possible for two snowflakes to be alike after all. There’s a fascinating article in LiveScience that details how this may be possible.

For anyone who studies probability, this seems reasonable, given that the article mentions that 10^24 snowflakes fall in any given year. The article also contains a photo gallery of fascinating snowflake pictures like the one shown above.

From the article: “A typical snow crystal weighs roughly one millionth of a gram. This means a cubic foot of snow can contain roughly one billion crystals … It is probably safe to say that the possible number of snow crystal shapes exceeds the estimated number of atoms in the known universe.”

Kenneth Libbrecht, a professor of physics at California Institute of Technology runs a website devoted entirely to Snow Crystals at which is also visually impressive.

Here’s an interesting graphic on the formation of Snow Crystals:


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September 11, 2007 9:09 pm

in England where i live I’ve seen snow flakes in the millions. Is it true no snowflake is the same?

January 24, 2009 3:29 am

so many stars…………
the sidewalk full of snowflakes………….

January 26, 2009 3:25 pm

SNOWFLAKES by Alan Collins.
“Two Ways” Denys Rd., Totnes, TQ9 5TW England.
O intricate fraternity
Falling from God’s tears
In the breathless infinity
Of years and years and years.
Alone like the snowflake
Cold spaces in-between
Every unique heartache
Is hardly ever seen
Those hidden splendours
The wild word denies
Only magnanimity renders
Ever the surprise
2. (Chorus).
My laughter’s like the sunshine
My tears are like the dew
My friends my dears my darling
You know not what you do
My words just keep on calling
To all who’ve gone from me
My tears still keeps on falling
Although but few can see
3. (Chorus).
Jack Frost was at my window
When I was young up north
He knew all that there was to know
And showed me how to love
I read those icy patterns
That he’d written in the night
With all their hidden meanings
That were hidden from my sight
4. (Chorus).
I know too well that we all go
Our chosen ways towards the sea
Yet from the magic clouds I know
That you’ll come back to me
I can’t explain to everyone
All that Jack Frost showed me
You’ll find your revelation
In Maitreya’s mystery
5. (Chorus).
We’re one-off variations
But can’t you see? It’s true!
We are the ancient melted ones
Falling from the blue
Each sacrificial spirit
Each soul that seems so new
Just makes a different self to fit
A changing situation too
6. (Chorus).
Like flocks of birds all flying
Up through those starry gates
When we think that we’re dying
We’ll find our long lost mates
And when our flock is ready
With angels in its train
And Jack Frost’s wand held steady
We’ll take the air again
O intricate fraternity
Falling from God’s tears
In the breathless infinity
Of years and years and years
Like those mayflies
When the day breaks
In my heart’s eyes
We are snowflakes
With love to you all.
Alan J. Collins.

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