What are sastrugi?

Sastrugi – wind sculpted snow near South Pole Station. Image ID: anta0183, NOAA At The Ends of the Earth Collection Photographer: Ross Burgener, ET, NOAA/OAR/ESRL/GMD

Sastrugi (or zastrugi) are a natural phenomenon in snowy and windy environments like the Arctic, where long, sharp ridges of snow form parallel to the wind direction.

Both variations are plurals (sastrugi is German, sastruga is singular while zastrugi is Russian and the singular is zastruga).

While sastrugi are hazardous for skiers, snowboarders, and hikers, due to the unstable surfaces they create, people still appreciate their beauty. Unique and unusual formations in the icy landscape.

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