Why Each Snowflake is Unique


Snowflakes in my palm,

transform too soon, their shapes

forever unknown.

I once tried catching snowflakes in my palm, without gloves, and as expected, they melted before I could really see their shapes. Since every snowflake is different, the looks of those that landed on my upturned palm will remain forever unknown.

So, is it true that no two snowflakes are alike? According to the Library of Congress “the scientific consensus states that the likelihood of two large snow crystals being identical is zero,” and that this will be difficult to prove because of the sheer number of snowflakes that fall to Earth. There are simply too many variables for each snowflake to be the exact same, from the dust particles around which they form, to the type and amount of water molecules they are comprised of, to the conditions that exist while each is falling from the sky. The full article can be found at  https://www.loc.gov/everyday-mysteries/meteorology-climatology/item/is-it-true-that-no-two-snow-crystals-are-alike/

It makes me think that it is the same with humans, of how we are all different. It is not just genetics that determine our total makeup as a human, but our experiences that shape us to make us unique, in much the same way as a snowflake continues to transform during its journey from sky to earth. Even identical siblings will differ is some way, maybe one has a scar from a fall, or a different haircut, or ear piercings.

So how is one able to really look at a snowflake to see its shape? Scientist recommend catching snowflakes on a frozen glass slide then examining under a microscope. An electron microscope is of course more effective in showing details. The hexagon is the typical shape of snowflakes but an infinite number of patterns is possible. More information is available at https://stemeducationguide.com/snowflakes-under-microscope-science-activity/