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Nature's Bizarre Formations - Ice Circles

Nature creates a variety of geometric figures, but this rather rare phenomenon is normally associate...

Nature creates a variety of geometric figures, but this rather rare phenomenon is normally associated with rivers and lakes in Scandinavia and other northern European and American countries.

According to one of many theories, warming of the water surface may be the origin of the circles.

Another popular theory says that ring patterns - sometimes so large that they are clearly visible from space - are created by quick shifts in temperature.

 
Nature's Bizarre Formations - Ice Circles

According to one of many theories, tectonic activity deep inside the Earth may be responsible for methane gas emissions, which in turn produce a rising mass of warm water.

The water, according to the so-called Coriolis effect, begins swirling in circular pattern (always clockwise in the Northern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern hemisphere) creating rings of different size.

Many strange round-ice formations surrounding a large ice circle appeared some years ago in Russia. and very similar ones were also detected in Finland in 1992.

Nature's Bizarre Formations - Ice Circles

The six-foot-wide and perfectly round circle was spotted in Mississauga city in Southern Ontario, Canada in December 2008. A circle with about two inches of slush and water around the sides, and it was spinning, reported "National Post".

Nature's Bizarre Formations - Ice Circles

Ice circle in Russia, winter 2007/08-Source: englishrussia.com

It is thought that ice circles are formed when surface ice gathers in the center of a body of water rather than the edges. A slow moving river current can create a slow turning eddy, which rotates, forming a perfectly shaped ice circle.

Very slowly the edges are ground down until a gap is formed between the eddy and the surrounding ice.

It is believed that with warmer weather the river ice might break up and form an ice circle.

Nature's Bizarre Formations - Ice Circles

The occurrence of ice circles happening across our planet may have a very simple and rational explanation that will be found one day.

In February 2001 a strange ice circle was discovered close to Churchville (twenty miles north-east of Baltimore) Maryland, USA. The formation measured ten metres in diameter, and was particularly unique because it consisted of not only a ring in ice but also had an extension, a small linear feature that is attached to the ring

Nature's Bizarre Formations - Ice Circles

Ice circle with a straight edged spur, or rectangular pathway, extending from the rings outer perimeter. Photo credits: Ed and Kris Sherwood

The extension points away from the viewer on the photograph. A similar pattern occurred as a crop circle in a wheat field near Whiteparish in Hampshire, England in 1987.

Nature's Bizarre Formations - Ice Circles

The most interesting thing about this event is, however the fact that the extension feature of this ice pictogram challenges every hypothesis that ice circles are made by natural forces like underwater currents etc.

Just take a look at an impressive ice circle or rather ice pictogram which was discovered near the town of Churchville in Maryland, USA in 2001.

Nature's Bizarre Formations - Ice Circles



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