By now, you’ve probably heard that a frostbitten ice sculpture can’t be frozen forever, but that’s only because there’s a lot of frostbiting going on in the world.
According to a study published in the journal Nature Communications, this is a myth.
“In fact, the body does not need to be protected from frostbite for a year or more to be preserved,” study researcher Dr. Michael C. Daley, of the University of Michigan, told Business Insider.
“If a frost-bitten sculpture is not frozen, it could become dislodged by air or by water, for example, and could eventually break apart.”
Daley’s team was able to track a frozen ice sculpture through a microscope to see what happened to it when it was struck by a hammer.
“We found that it’s very hard to form a hard bond with the ice that is frozen,” Daley said.
“It’s a much more challenging situation than you’d think.
It’s like a car battery.”
In the end, the researchers were able to get the frozen sculpture to adhere to a surface using ice-based adhesive, but they did it by putting the frozen body into an ice bath and then soaking the sculpture in a liquid solution.
After three months of freezing, the sculpture had completely hardened and had formed a new, flexible shell.
Daley said the new shape allowed the researchers to identify the cause of frostbite.
“When you do something that’s difficult and painful, you’ll develop some sort of scarring,” he said.
“[But] the scarring isn’t permanent.”
The researchers found that when ice melts, it causes tissue damage to the surrounding tissue, including the bone and cartilage of the body.
The researchers did not find a clear cause of the frostbite, although the researchers speculated that the freezing could have been a direct consequence of the pain.
“What we’re seeing is that the stress is getting to the body and it’s going to be damaged and break down,” Daly said.”[The ice is] not only going to take damage, it’s also going to cause damage to other structures, like the bone, the cartilage, the connective tissue.”
While this study has not proven that the frostbited sculpture can never be frozen again, Daley noted that the findings are important for people in the field.
“It shows that when you have these types of things, the most important thing is not to let it happen to you, to prevent it from happening,” he told Business Today.
“I don’t think there’s anything to be gained by trying to preserve this.
I think we’ve learned that.”