Penitentes in front of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array telescope and the Licancabur volcano in northern Chile.
European Southern Observatory/Flickr
These ice spikes, called penitentes, form in high altitudes, where sunlight turns ice directly into water vapor, rather than melting it to water.
Sun beams vaporize small dimples in the snow's surface. Then, the uneven surface directs sun into the dips and away from the peaks, exacerbating the trend...