Think of it as a beautiful full-moon or think of it as an alien ship hypnotically spinning over a wintry river landscape. From certain angles, it may appear like a celestial body staring from across some distant corner of our galaxy. But this giant rotating disk is nothing you may be thinking!
It’s a rare and natural phenomenon; a giant rotating disc of ice about 100 yards in diameter that has appeared on Presumpscot River in the city of Westbrook, Maine, in the United States.
“There were a bunch of seagulls [sitting] right in the middle and a lot of pigeons on the edge,” said Scott Brown, a resident of the city who visited the site on the afternoon of Jan. 16.
“I had to be there, absolutely. It was a beautiful day,” he said.
How Was It Created?
Such rotating ice disks have been reported before. Last year, a similar rotating disk was reported in the Colorado River by The Denver Channel.
Ice discs have baffled physicist and environmental scientist for over a century, according to Science Alert, a digital science media.
The website describes ice discs to be created along in a river by little spinning currents called eddies that form when “water flows over rocks or into an enclosed space.”
It however also mentions that this doesn’t explain the entire phenomenon. If the rotation was caused by eddies, the small discs would spin faster than big discs. However, it has been observed that discs of varying sizes rotate at almost the same speed. And there have been reported incidences of icy discs rotating even on still water, according to Science Alert.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) January 16, 2019
Locals are thronging to the spot with their drones and cameras to capture the beauty of the rare sight.
“One young fellow had a drone that he was flying to get good pictures, another fellow was trying to get a time-lapsed video but the ice sphere ended up drifting to the far side and getting caught on the banking,” said Brown.
Brown said the few people he met were seeing it for the first time after hearing about it in the news. “Another fella was there because his sister in New York had heard about it and so she heard about it before he did, so he came on his lunch break to see,” said Brown.
The video is abuzz on the internet as well. “Nature never stops doing amazing things,” commented netizen Clare Elaine Berntsen on the pictures of the ice disk posted on the City of Westbrook Facebook page.
A video of the disk posted on Twitter shows ducks on the icy carousel. “Honestly the best part of this ice disk are the ducks taking a ride on it,” tweeted local reporter, Taylor Gleason.
Honestly the best part of this ice disk are the ducks taking a ride on it 😂❤️🦆 pic.twitter.com/0Lz9qlUHaW
— Taylor Gleason (@TaylorGWGME) January 15, 2019