Ice Wave in Lake Huron, Michigan a Fake: Where Are The Photos Really From?

February 17, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Twitter and Facebook has been abuzz over an “ice wave” in Michigan’s Lake Huron, in Mackinaw City, over the past few days, but it not true.

“Michigan has had the coldest winter in decades. Water expands to freeze, and at Mackinaw City the water in Lake Huron below the surface was supercooled. It expanded to break through the surface ice and froze into this incredible wave,” one message reads.

The photos are real–as in not Photoshopped–but they were taken in Antarctica by Caltech researcher Tony Travouillon, who posted a series of photos of Antarctica from more than 10 years ago on his website.

Several of his Antarctica photos have been passed off as being from Michigan. These images have been shared for years under that false pretext.

These messages have been Tweeted, shared on Facebook, e-mailed, and posted on blogs.

Travouillon said in reports that he was at the Dumont d’Urville Station in Antarctica more than a decade ago.

“It’s like literally looking at a large ice cube, and you can see where the cracks define the ripples in each of those waves, by the melting and the re-icing of the iceberg itself,” Travouillon told the Weather Channel several years ago. “It was a very intense color, and when you have the sun coming out, you can really see quite thickly through the iceberg, and it’s quite a view.”

He added: “The sea ice was melting, so all the icebergs were getting un-trapped, and they were getting moved, and so you can see some of the icebergs were tipped over, revealing the bottom part. And therefore they were free of snow, and so you can see the real color of the iceberg, which is blue.”

However, Lake Huron in February has produced some amazing images., including ones of the lake being frozen solid in some places. 

Reporter Joe Charlevoix with website UpNorthLive wrote that he gets e-mails about the hoax each year. “While we certainly do get great ice formations and it has been a colder winter than as of late, these pictures are not from the Great Lakes region or even this hemisphere,” he concludes.