- Why is there such a similarity in crystal structure and appearance and yet a difference in size?
- Were these frost crystals permitted a greater amount of time for growth (and thus grew larger)?
- Could they have grown at a slower rate under sustained conditions?
- Given that water is a mineral, is it likely that its crystal growth behaves similarly to that of other minerals like sugar, salt, emerald, quartz, pyrite, to name a few?
- What are the conditions for optimal water crystal growth anyway??
By the way, for you rockhounds out there: Water is technically a mineral, and rocks are defined as being a mixture of minerals. So, if one were to accidentally scoop up a little sand, silt, or other mineral while creating a snowball (inevitable), presto! Yes, technically, snowballs are rocks, and a local geologist agreed with this logic ...the same can be said for glaciers and muddy rivers. I suspect a distinction can be made with relationships between particles however. Rocks usually contain fused minerals, rather than suspended. But, if this distinction does not play a role in defining rocks, the comparison still stands (and awaits the onslaught of more knowledgable folk). So the next time you get hit in the head with a snowball, and it feels like a rock...well, it probably is.