What is the Meaning of the Big Ice Boulders Appearing on Lake Michigan?

Jan 12, 2015 | written by:

Despite the little panda cub Bao Bao having the time of his life playing in the snow, winter has been reaching arctic temperatures and recreating a phenomenon on the shore of Lake Michigan. At first glance, these look like big boulders floating in the water. However, with closer inspection, it is clear that these are actually big ice spheres that roll ashore on the lake

Luckily for us, photographer Ken Scott published a video of the boulder-sized ice balls in Michigan’s Leelanau County. So why do these spheres form? This happens frequently, only during Michigan’s “polar vortex,” when temperatures drop drastically will they reach the size that they do in the video. The same phenomenon occurred last year around the same time. The ice balls start as small chunks of ice, but just like building a snowman, the more they are rocked by the waves to form big spherical shapes. The wind and current simply push them all to the shore, becoming a feature for Lake Michigan. Although the process is simple, it has captivated many visitors and locals

All images and video credited to Ken Scott Photography

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