Wilson Bentley (1865 - 1931, Vermont, USA) was a farmer in freezing Vermont who had a beautiful and productive obession with snowlfakes.

At the age of 15, in 1880, he was given a hobby microscope by his mother, and he quickly began examining snowflakes, holding his breath so they wouldn't melt, pushing them on to slides with feathers.

Within 5 years he had managed to attach his camera to his microscope, and that's when he could share his observations with the world.

We now know that the ice crystals that make up snowflakes are symmetrical because of the internal order of water molecules as they arrange themselves in predetermined spaces (known as “crystallization”) to form a hexagonal symmetry.. 


Interestingly, the colder the temperature at which the snowflake forms, the more spiky the shape. The flatter plate like snowflakes are close to zero, whereas the spiky ones are in the deeper sub zero temperatures.

Our set of three snowflakes shows examples from all types.