We may never know who was first to figure out that soap bubbles freeze into beautiful crystal orbs, but Calgary photographer Chris Ratzlaff has perfected the art.
In a video uploaded to YouTube in January 2014 but which went viral this week, racking up more than 400,000 views to date, Ratzlaff blows a bubble through a tube in temperatures near -25°C. Within seconds, the bubble freezes into a frosty bauble. We won’t spoil what happens next, but be sure to watch until the end.
Ratzlaff says his neighbours have become accustomed to his strange wintertime behaviour, which involves him hanging around outside his house on cold days with a bubble wand in one hand and a camera in the other. Frozen soap bubbles are fragile, temperamental creatures, so Ratzlaff experimented with a few different ways to strengthen the soap mixture, giving him more time to get the perfect shot.
If you’d like to try this experiment yourself, here’s his recipe:
• 200 ml warm water
• 35 ml corn syrup
• 35 ml dish soap
• 2 tbs sugar
Chill in the freezer to speed up the freezing outside, and of course, don’t forget to dress warmly.