Only last week in Chamonix we were watching snowflakes fall about our person with all the glee of a lepidopterist seeing a rare butterfly land on his nose. A lepidopterist being a butterfly collector, we just googled it. If the snowflake in its many different forms is not the most beautiful thing to come out of nature's gullet we don't know what is.

Kenneth Libbrecht, a not so mad, professor from Cal Tech University somehow managed to take shots of snowflakes before they melted, which he then stuck under a magical kind of microscope. This is one of the results. Wowzers.

To see more check the gallery on the Guardian here.