Giant ice disk forms in ME river, drawing comparisons to UFO

17 January, 2019, 01:41 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • An image taken by the City of Westbrook shows a massive ice circle that formed on the Presumpscot River

"It looks like the moon has landed in Westbrook!" the city wrote on Facebook Tuesday morning.

The circle of ice is 91 metres wide and appears to have formed perfectly naturally. "It's pretty wild to look at".

"It was a big duck-go-round", Mitchell told The Portland Press Herald.

As if a seemingly-alien ice disc wasn't enough reason for locals to be a bit anxious about their place in the universe, the Portland Press Herald notes that a "giant snake eating a beaver", dubbed locally as "Wessie", was spotted nearby in 2016. "The ducks were rotating on this big Lazy Susan".

As the disc rotates, it grinds against surrounding ice - smoothing into a ideal circle.

"I think getting the perspective from the sky kind of makes it even more impressive", Westbrook's marketing and communications director Tina Radel, who captured and posted the drone photos and video, told the Boston Globe.


Westbrook resident Adam Farnsworth also documented the Westbrook Ice Disc with a drone and shared it on Facebook.

A nearly-perfect spinning disc of ice formed in the Presumpscot River in Westbrook.

Some tourists walked on the thin ice of the circle, posing and taking photographs, and one swimmer braved the -20C temperatures to dive off the disk and swim in the icy river water.

According to published reports, the largest ice disk recorded was a 160-foot diameter circle in Sweden's Pite River in 1987. See the City of Westbrook's video below.

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.

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