The following time-lapse video shows something scientists call a brinicle, or as it’s also known “the ice finger of death.” As it forms, the pillar of ice freezes everything in its path.
Like something you’d see in the film SPLINTER or from Kurt Vonnegut’s ice-nine creation from CAT’S CRADLE, a brinicle will affect and freeze everything it comes in contact with. Brinicles occur when salt water leaks out of sea ice. When the sea ice freezes, salt accumulates in fractures within the ice. When the ice cracks, this brine leaks out of the bottom. This brine is actually colder than the freezing point of seawater. Salt water freezes at a lower temperature than regular water, hence the reason you put salt on your driveway in the winter.
Once the brine begins to sink, water is immediately attracted to it due to osmosis. However, once the water comes in contact with the sinking brine it immediately freezes, forming a ice stalactite. Consequently, as the brinicle hits the bottom it begins destroying everything it comes in contact with, including sea life. Mother nature is freaking twisted and sadistic sometimes.