One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A vertical or nearly vertical shaft in a glacier, formed by surface water percolating through a crack in the ice.
- ‘The meltwater pours through large channels called ‘moulins’ until it reaches the base of the ice sheet - the interface between ice and bedrock.’
- ‘I navigated through sculpted corridors, leapt silver streams, and sidestepped moulins all the way to the base of Gangkar Punsum, where I shot a roll of film of the ice-armored peak.’
- ‘When Ken finishes his tale the Kenyans share one of their own about the rescue of some fools on Kilimanjaro and another about the death of a novice who fell into a moulin, a hole in a glacier, and was never found.’
Mid 19th century: French, literally ‘mill’.
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