Dense polycrystalline titania (TiO2, rutile) was converted into oriented arrays of single-crystal titania nanofibers by reaction with a noncombustible, hydrogen-bearing gas mixture at only 680–780 °C. Such nanofiber formation resulted from anisotropic etching (“nanocarving”) of the titania grains. The fibers possessed diameters of 20–50 nm and lengths of up to several microns, with the long fiber axes oriented parallel to the  crystallographic direction of rutile. Mass spectroscopy and inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy indicated that oxygen, but not titanium, was removed from the specimen during the reaction with hydrogen. The removal of substantial oxygen and solid volume from the reacting surfaces, without an appreciable change in the Ti:O ratio at such surfaces, was consistent with the solid-state diffusion of titanium cations from the surface into the bulk of the specimen. The reaction-induced weight loss followed a parabolic rate law, which was also consistent with a solid-state diffusion-controlled process.