Zoom in on sea ice

Time for some adventure! We're going to take an exciting journey through the sea ice. We'll start by flying 20,000 m up in the air. As you zoom in closer and closer, we'll come crashing down to the surface of the ice. We won't stop there, though; you'll even get to go inside the ice. Usually, only scientists with high-tech equipment get to see the ice this closely. To continue your adventure, read the caption and then choose your destination.

This picture is 0.01 m (or 1 cm) across. The photo was taken with a camera attached to a microscope. Even though ice normally looks solid and white or clear, we can see here that it's actually much more complicated. The two big dark areas are air bubbles. The smaller dark areas are called brine pockets. They are places where sea water is trapped in the ice as it grows. As the ice gets colder the brine pockets gets smaller and very, very salty. Sea ice is made up of three things: ice, pockets of salt water, and air bubbles.