It’s hard for the naked eye to see,
But a snowflake displays a symmetry,
Each one created by branch selection,
Built around one small imperfection,
That creates a singular ice physique,
And makes each snowflake quite unique. href=””>Image
The life of a snowflake entails evaporation of the water vapour from seas, lakes, rivers, plants, even you, when you exhale! If you take that air and cool it down, it will eventually condense, as dew if it is near the ground, as snow, if it is way up high. Snow-forming clouds are just conglomerations of liquid water droplets, until the temperature drops to about -10º C (14º F) and then the droplets gradually start to freeze, as described above.

A snow crystal, that may be round, will attract material to it, because it is rough, but then there may also be a number of facets that are smoother and so accumulate material much more slowly. After all the rough surfaces have grown out, only the slower-growing facet surfaces remain, to create the snowflake. A snowflake is, most commonly, a hexagonal prism in shape. This, in turn can either be plate-like (or flat), or columnar, depending on which facet surfaces grow the quickest.

When snowflakes are just baby flakes, they tend to just be these hexagonal prisms, but as they mature and grow, branches grow out from the corners to create more intricate and complex shapes. This perfection, is, like so many things in this world, created from imperfection. Snowflake branching occurs because in order for water vapour to attach to the ice crystal, it has to diffuse through the air. If it finds a spot on the crystal with a tiny protuberance, it does not have to travel so far through the air to condense, so it tends to concentrate itself around and grow quicker at that particular spot…creating a branch. Then that branch in turn may have minor imperfections, so the process repeats itself. The result is an exquisite structure…unique to itself, because no 2 ice crystals will have lumps and bumps in the same spot. Cool physics, huh?