What a great question! Snow, though made from tiny water droplets, isn’t clear like water--or even like frozen water, (ice). It’s completely different from either of these although it’s made of exactly the same thing. Amazing!
Of course, snow isn’t always white. It can be gray from pollution or yellow from. . . uh, well, let’s just say, Mom and Dad have a good reason for telling you, “Don’t eat snow!” But did you know that snow is sometimes pink, too? Pink snow, also called watermelon snow, is sometimes found in the mountains where an alpine algae grows at high elevations. Some people say that pink snow even smells like watermelon. You wouldn’t want to eat it though. Eating “watermelon snow” could make you sick.
But from where does snow get its white color—the kind most of us are familiar with?
God’s Fingerprint in Creation
If you’ve ever held a prism in the path of a beam of sunlight, you know that all the colors of the rainbow are present in white light. Water and sunlight work together to separate the colors of the spectrum on a rainy day so that we can see all the colors in a rainbow.
Snow is made of ice crystals. God created beautiful snow flakes by loosely arranging many ice crystals together. When light hits a snow flake, the light passing through each ice crystal is bent and changes direction. This might result in color being seen if the light were passing through just one ice crystal. But the colors of the rainbow are never seen in snow because the light continues moving through to the next ice crystal which bends it again. As the light passes from ice crystal to ice crystal, it sort of gets all jumbled up and finally just bounces right back out of the snow.
All the colors of the spectrum combined in equal amounts make the “color” white. That’s why when we look at snow, we see white.
How big was the world’s largest snowflake? It was 38 cm (15 inches) wide and 20 cm (8 inches) thick!
Get a clue!
The Bible writers used snow to describe very bright, white things. Search out these scriptures to discover what things in the Bible are described as being as white as snow: Isaiah 1:18, Daniel 7:9, Matthew 28:3, Mark 9:3, Revelation 1:14.
Want to get involved in Creation Investigation? We want to hear from you! Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to find the answers.