17 January, 2019
The City of Westbrook, Maine, is inviting fans of unusual natural phenomena to come check out a massive ice disc rotating in the Presumpscot River - and perhaps you could patronize some local restaurants while you're at it.
Drone footage taken by Tina Radel, the marketing and communications manager for the city, shows an nearly 100-metre circle spinning in a counter-clockwise direction.
On nearly the exact same date Westbrook's natural ice disk was discovered, a group of people in Little Falls, Minnesota, made their own 506-foot-wide ice carousel.
Paul Nakroshis, an associate professor of physics at the University of Southern Maine, tells Maine Public Radio that the formation of the ice disks is not totally understood.
The size of this one though is extremely rare, as most tend to be in the 20- to 30-foot diameter range.
Ice discs like the one in ME are not uncommon when atmospheric conditions are just right, the Bangor Daily News reports.
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Officials said the disk was spinning slowly counter-clockwise, and had served as a big raft for ducks and other birds.
The ice circle, also known as an ice disc, first was spotted Monday and it kept growing.
'The ducks were rotating on this big Lazy Susan, ' Mr Mitchell quipped. The water freezes faster than the rest, forming a circle of ice.
Researchers believe ice discs spin because of temperature changes in the water, creating a vortex underneath.
'If you get out today to check it out, be sure to stop by one the many downtown eateries that are nearby, ' the city wrote on Facebook.