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Snowflakes actually look like those little paper cutouts I used to make

I am amazed at the beauty and intricacy of these snow crystals, archived by the Buffalo Museum of Science. Here’s the homepage of the project, which seeks to preserve the wonderful work of Wilson A. Bentley. (Via BoingBoing.)

I don’t know why it surprises me so much to see that snowflakes actually look how we’re taught they look in school. I guess I always thought of paper snowflakes as flights of fancy that had little basis in reality. But it turns out that they really do; even the ones I made up from scratch are similar to these pictures. Astonishing, and beautiful.