What is Penitentes?

These incredible ice spikes, generally known as penitentes due to their resemblance to processions of white-hooded monks, can be found on mountain glaciers and vary in size dramatically: from a few centimeters to 5 meters in height. Initially, the sun’s rays cause random dimples on the surface of the snow. Once such a dimple is formed, sunlight can be reflected within the dimple, increasing the localized sublimation. As this accelerates, deep troughs are formed, leaving peaks of ice standing between them.
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