Over time the mechanical strength of snow increases due to various forces acting on it, like weight or wind. Individual ice grains bond in a process called “destructive metamorphism,” and snow takes on shapes that seem to defy gravity.
One winter day driving though Fort Wainwright Army Base near Fairbanks, Alaska I happened upon this strange formation in the sky. Is it a jet trail peace sign made by a creative military pilot? Or some kind of weird weather phenomenon… Almost surely, I’ll never know.