Bizarre natural spinning ice circle develops in Maine

Natural occurrence caused by circular current and vortex under ice sheet

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Friday 14 January 2022 14:27
<p>A large ice disk slowly rotates in the Presumpscot River in Westbrook, Maine, Thursday, 13 Jan 2022 </p>

A large ice disk slowly rotates in the Presumpscot River in Westbrook, Maine, Thursday, 13 Jan 2022

A bizarre swirling ice disk has formed in a Maine river.

The rotating ice circle has appeared in the Presumpscot River in Westbrook, drawing onlookers to see the chilly phenomenon.

The disk first appeared in the river in 2019 and garnered world-wide attention, before partially forming again in 2020.

City officials encouraged people to post pictures of the disk, but warned people not to venture out on the ice, saying “It is not safe.”

“IceDisk2022 is frozen in place on this frigid morning, but who knows what Mother Nature has in store for it next? Regardless, it’s still breathtaking. Stay tuned,” the city posted on its Facebook page.

Scientists say that ice disk form because of the river’s current and vortex under the ice, which cause ice sheets to spin and form a circle.

In 2019, a 100-yard ice disk formed in the river drawing huge social media attention, before melting in warm weather.

Video of the latest ice disk was also posted on the Facebook page of the The Frog and Turtle gastropub by chef and owner, James Tranchemontagne.

“As of this morning it moved toward the riverbank and locked itself in. It’s already anchored,” he told The Boston Globe.

He added that the ice disk was a welcome distraction for the town of more than 20,000 “in the midst of this Covid-19 hell.”

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